Monday, April 21, 2008

AAN meeting news: sleep disorder risk for children with migraines

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A study of children with migraines and other headaches presented at the 60th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology found that children with migraines are at much greater risk of sleep disorders than children with other types of headaches.

Children with migraines were twice as likely to have sleep apnea and averaged sleep sleep time overall and less quality sleep.

Children with Migraines at High Risk for Sleep Disorders

"Sleeping problems can exacerbate the problems migraine causes on a child's health and may hinder a child's performance at school," study author Dr. Martina Vendrame of Temple University in Philadelphia, said in a prepared statement. "Parents and doctors need to be aware of the strong likelihood of sleep disorders in children with migraine and seek appropriate preventions and treatments."

The study, expected to be presented Thursday at the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting in Chicago, looked at 90 children with headache and sleep problems. Of these children, 60 had migraine, 11 had chronic daily headache, six had tension headache and 13 had non-specific headache. They were studied using a polysomnogram, a sleep test that monitors the brain, eye movements, muscle activity, heart rhythm and breathing.

The children with migraines were almost twice as likely as the others to have sleep apnea, a condition in which the upper airway gets obstructed and causes repeated arousals from sleep. Such sleep-disordered breathing was found in 56 percent of children with migraine versus 30 percent of children with non-migraine headache.

Severe migraine was also associated with shorter total sleep time, longer total time to fall asleep, and shorter REM sleep, which is the stage of sleep in which most dreams can be recalled.

For more information coming out of the meeting, visit:

AAN Annual Meeting Abstract and Award Press Releases

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