Childhood headaches activated by stress

ISLAMABAD: Stress factors are among the most important triggers of headaches and migraines in children, Italian researchers reported in the European Neurological Society in Prague. School stress and nightly computer sessions ranked highest among the causes of such pain.

Stress factors were the trigger for headaches or migraine attacks in two-thirds of the children examined at an outpatient clinic, Italian researchers reported at the 22nd Meeting of the European Neurological Society (ENS) in Prague, Medical Health news Reported.

“In 72% of the cases we studied, stress could be identified as a major factor behind their headaches,” said Dr Dacia Dalla Libera (San Raffaele Institute, Milan). “School stress and a burdensome lack of sleep due to night time computer or television activities head the list of frequent stress factors.

In the future, we will need to incorporate these insights much more into the individual counselling and therapy of childhood headache patients.”

More and more children and adolescents suffer from headaches. In studies during the mid 1970s, only 14% of children and young people admitted to having suffered from a headache in the previous six months.

Now, every other child is familiar with the painful condition. In adolescents between eleven and 18 years of age, migraine affects seven percent of boys and 12 percent of girls.

There are no guaranteed hypotheses as to why headaches occur more and more among young patients. It is assumed, however, that an unfavourable lifestyle is partially responsible.At the Headache Center of the San Raffaele Institute in Milan, the research group assessed the headaches and migraine history of 125 children and adolescents.

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