The relationships between sleep and headaches are complex and manifold. About the variety of phenomena that can disrupt the sleep macrostructure and can impact its restorative function, the periodic limb movements disorder (PLMd) can be considered as the most powerful.
No studies are known about the role of PLMd in the pathophysiology of migraine in children.
Aim of study is to assess the prevalence of PLMd and migraine and their relationship with disability and pain intensity in a pediatric sample, referred for migraine without aura by pediatricians.
After a preliminary sleep habits screening with the Sleep Disturbances Scale for Children, 34 migraine subjects affected by migraine without aura (20 M, 14 F) (mean age 9.08; SD±2.28) and 51 volunteers healthy children (28 M, 23 F) (mean age 9.37; SD±1.81) accepted to underwent overnight PSG recordings in the Sleep Laboratory of the Clinic of Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry, in order to define the macrostructural sleep characteristics and the prevalence of PLMd. Subsequently, the migraineurs sample was studied in order to define the relationship between disability, pain intensity, therapeutical responsiveness and the presence of PLMd.
In the migraineurs children group, the individuals with PLM pathological index (PLMI≥5) represent the 26.47% of sample and present higher frequency (p<0.001), intensity (p<0.001), duration (p=0.006) and life impairment as scored in the PedMIDAS (p<0.001) of headache and lower efficacy of prophylactic (p=0.001) and acute (p=0.006) pharmacological treatment than MoA children without PLM pathological index.
This preliminary study indicates the potential value of the determination of the PLMd signs, and the importance of the PSG evaluation in children affected by migraine, particularly when the clinical and pharmacological management tend to fail in the attacks control.
Keywords: Polysomnography, Periodic limb movements, PLMd, PLMs, Children, Migraine without aura, MoA