Colic May Lead To Migraines Later On
April 17, 2013

Infant Colic Linked To Migraines In Adolescence And Early Teens

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

While colic in newborn babies has long been considered to be a gastrointestinal condition, new research suggests that migraine headaches might actually be to blame.

The study claims that children who were diagnosed with migraines were more likely (72.6 percent) to experience colic — a condition in which an otherwise healthy infant cries or displays symptoms of distress for long periods of time and for no apparent reason — than those who did not experience the debilitating headaches (26.5 percent).

“It is already known that migraine can show with intestinal pain in childhood,” senior author Dr. Luigi Titomanlio, head of the pediatric migraine and neurovascular diseases clinic at APHP Hospital Robert Debre in Paris, told HealthDay reporter Serena Gordon on Tuesday. “Our results suggest that infantile colic could represent a form of migraine with age-specific expression.”

According to Michelle Healy of USA Today, Titomanlio and his colleagues reviewed the health records of 208 youngsters between the ages of six and 18 who had been diagnosed as having migraines, as well as questionnaires completed by their parents. That information was then compared with 471 children and teenagers who had no headaches, as well as 120 children who suffered from tension headaches.

The investigators discovered no association between infantile colic and tension-type headaches, said MedPage Today staff writer Nancy Walsh. Of the children with migraine, 66 had accompanying auras while 142 did not.

Those who experienced aura — which include symptoms such as blind spots or flashes of light — had a 69.7 percent association with colic, while those without aura had a 73.9 percent association with the condition. The link between migraine and colic was seen for children between the ages of six and 12, as well as those ages 12 to 18.

“There is scientific evidence that casein hydrolysate formula is useful for infants with colic because of the potential role of allergies to cow's milk proteins in such infants,” the authors explained, according to Walsh. “The increased exposure to cow's milk proteins among formula-fed infants could partly explain our finding of a significant association between formula feeding and migraine.”

“An accompanying editorial notes that the prevalence of migraine headache by age groups is 1% to 3% from ages 3 to 7; 4% to 11% from ages 7 to 11; and 8% to 23% from ages 11 to 15 years old. Colic occurs in about 16% to 20% of infants,” Healy added. The findings of the study are detailed in their entirety in the latest edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).