Early diagnosis and treatment for children with migraines

Treating and diagnosing migraines in children
Updated: Jun. 13, 2017 at 11:03 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - June is Migraine Awareness Month, a good time for parents to know how common it is for kids to suffer.

As many as one in 10 children end up with a migraine headache at some point before age 17.

But that pain is often misdiagnosed in kids.

Dr. KJ Oommen, a neurologist at Covenant Medical Group, explains that sometimes the symptoms of a migraine can even mimic a stroke.

He says some symptoms can fool you, "Such as dizziness, tiredness, losing balance, speaking gibberish, things of that nature. Sometimes, even facial weakness or paralysis are part of the syndrome of migraine, especially in what we call complicated migraine."

Dr. Oommen says parents may come to see him because they are concerned about all those issues, not even considering that a migraine could be the reason for these problems.

He said that typically a migraine effects one side of the body but can affect both sides, particularly in the temples or forehead.

So what triggers a migraine in the first place? Dr. Oommen says the classic theory has been that migraines are the result of the constriction or dilation of the blood vessels. So, for years, many of the medications were based on that theory. However, today, he says there is a new theory that a substance that causes pain, CGRP, goes up in the blood when a migraine is coming. So, now, companies are developing new drugs to block that CGRP before it goes up to prevent the migraine even before it starts.

Dr. Oommen is optimistic that the new treatment will be available to patients soon.

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