February 21, 2012
Colic In Babies May Be Tied To Migraines From Mother
Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) looked at the medical records of 154 mothers and their babies and came to the conclusion that children are two-and-a-half times more likely to have colic if their mothers suffer from migraines.
According to Dr. Amy Gelfand, child neurologist with the Headache Center at UCSF, “Since migraine is a highly genetic disorder, our study suggests infant colic may be an early sign a child may be predisposed toward migraine headache later in life.”
Colic, or excessive crying in an otherwise healthy infant, has long been associated with gastrointestinal problems, presumably caused by something the baby ate. However, despite more than 50 years of research, no definitive link has been proven between infant colic and gastrointestinal problems.
“We´ve known about colic for a really long time,” Gelfand said, “but despite this fact, no one really knows why these babies are crying.”
Overall, 29 percent of infants whose mothers had migraines had colic compared to 11 percent of those babies whose mothers did not have migraines.
“This may be helpful in more accurately identifying children who have childhood periodic syndromes by asking about a history of infant colic. In addition, this study helps to advance our understanding about the different expressions of migraine across a person´s lifetime,” said Gelfand.
Babies with colic may have more difficulty coping with the onslaught of new stimuli after birth as they are thrust from the dark, warm, muffled life inside the womb into a world that is bright, cold, noisy and filled with touchy hands and bouncy knees.
Now, the UCSF team plans to study a group of colicky babies over the course of their childhood to see if they develop other childhood periodic syndromes, such as abdominal migraine. Dr. Gelfand plans to present the findings at the American Academy of Neurology´s 64th annual meeting in New Orleans in April.
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