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Keywords:

  • nonpharmacologic treatment;
  • migraine;
  • young patient;
  • conservative treatment

(Headache 2010;50:219-223)

Objective.— To evaluate the effectiveness of nonpharmacologic treatment for migraine in children younger than age 6 years.

Background.— The mean age of onset of migraine in children is 7.2 years for boys and 10.9 years for girls. Treatment consists of individually tailored pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions. However, data on migraine management in preschoolers are very sparse.

Methods.— Demographic, clinical, and outcome data were collected from the files of patients with migraine who attended a pediatric headache clinic. Only those treated by nonpharmacologic measures, namely, good sleep hygiene, diet free of food additives, and limited sun exposure, were included. Clinical factors and response to treatment were compared between children younger than 6 years and older children.

Results.— Of the 92 children identified, 32 were younger than 6 years and 60 were older. There was no difference between the age groups in most of the demographic and clinical parameters. The younger group was characterized by a significantly lower frequency of migraine attacks and shorter disease duration (in months). Mean age of the patients with no response to treatment (grade 1) was 10.588 ± 3.254 years; partial response (grade 2), 9.11 ± 4.6 years; and complete response (grade 3), 8.11 ± 3.93 years (P = .02). The percentage of patients with complete to partial response as opposed to no response was significantly higher in the younger group (P = .00075).

Conclusion.— As the primary option, conservative therapy for migraine appears to be more effective in children younger than 6 years than in older children, perhaps because of their shorter duration of disease until treatment and lower frequency of attacks.