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This book is a valuable resource for all who are interested in neurological problems and specifically in headaches occurring in children and young people. It can be read chapter by chapter to gain a better understanding of this complex topic or, because it has a comprehensive index, it can be also used as a ready reference guide.

Headaches in children are extremely common; the prevalence is 60%. Twenty per cent of school children complain of headaches more than once a week and around 10% more than 2 days a week. Headaches in children represent a significant workload for general practitioners, emergency department staff, paediatricians, and paediatric neurologists. It is a common cause for children missing school. As such, there is a need for a comprehensive source of advice and knowledge on the diagnosis and management of childhood headache disorders; Childhood Headache provides this and more.

The book is written by 31 well-known and respected experts in the field of headache. The chapters take you on a journey from the history of headaches to our current understanding of the various types of headaches in childhood. Chapter 2 (‘History of headache in childhood: from headache tablets to headache tablets’) provides a fascinating insight into the understanding and treatment of childhood headaches through the centuries and clearly describes the rapid advancement of our understanding in this area that has occurred over the last few decades. Chapters on the pathophysiology, genetics, classification (using the current International Classification of Headache Disorders, 2nd edition – ICHD-II), and quality of life issues are followed by chapters on migraine, tension-type headaches, chronic headaches, and symptomatic headaches (including those due to brain tumours, idiopathic intracranial hypertension, craniofacial causes, and trauma).

There are chapters dealing with the management of children with headaches in general practice and specialist clinics. The final chapter (‘Drawing as an expression of migraine symptoms in children: can a picture really paint a thousand words?’) explores children's expression of headaches and associated symptoms through drawings. This chapter vividly highlights the debilitating nature of headaches and the significant impact they have on the lives of children and their families. It clearly reinforces the need for us to take seriously headaches in children and young people and to ensure that we manage and treat them appropriately and effectively.

Throughout the book the authors draw attention to the importance of taking a careful history (including family history) and performing a detailed examination. They provide relevant approaches to diagnosis and treatment and support these with the inclusion of clinical cases. The multidisciplinary approach to the management of headaches is given due recognition and importance. There are also chapters covering psychological aspects and treatment (including dietary management) of headache.

Although each of the authors brings their own unique style of writing to the book, their styles complement each other very well. All the chapters are well-referenced, concise, and easily digestible. The authors appreciate that it can be difficult to differentiate one type of headache from another in children and young people, and thus offer a pragmatic approach to diagnosing, classifying, and treating headaches which can be easily utilized in a busy clinical setting.

This second edition builds on the strong foundation of the first (published in 2002); but significant changes have been made. The editor, Dr Ishaq Abu-Arafeh, must be congratulated on bringing together experts in the complex and expanding field of childhood headaches, and for compiling a comprehensive, relevant, and easily readable text which is of value not just to medical and nursing students, nurses, doctors, and allied health professionals but anyone who works with children and young people. This book is a useful addition to my library and I am sure that I will be referring to it on a regular basis.