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1.  Clinical features, anger management and anxiety: a possible correlation in migraine children 
Background
Psychological factors can increase severity and intensity of headaches. While great attention has been placed on the presence of anxiety and/or depression as a correlate to a high frequency of migraine attacks, very few studies have analyzed the management of frustration in children with headache. Aim of this study was to analyze the possible correlation between pediatric migraine severity (frequency and intensity of attacks) and the psychological profile, with particular attention to the anger management style.
Methods
We studied 62 migraineurs (mean age 11.2 ± 2.1 years; 29 M and 33 F). Patients were divided into four groups according to the attack frequency (low, intermediate, high frequency, and chronic migraine). Pain intensity was rated on a 3-levels graduate scale (mild, moderate and severe pain). Psychological profile was assessed by Picture Frustration Study test for anger management and SAFA-A scale for anxiety.
Results
We found a relationship between IA/OD index (tendency to inhibit anger expression) and both attack frequency (r = 0.328, p = 0.041) and intensity (r = 0.413, p = 0.010). When we analyzed the relationship between anxiety and the headache features, a negative and significant correlation emerged between separation anxiety (SAFA-A Se) and the frequency of attacks (r = −0.409, p = 0.006). In our patients, the tendency to express and emphasize the presence of the frustrating obstacle (EA/OD index) showed a positive correlation with anxiety level (“Total anxiety” scale: r = 0.345; p = 0.033).
Conclusions
Our results suggest that children suffering from severe migraine tend to inhibit their angry feelings. On the contrary, children with low migraine attack frequency express their anger and suffer from separation anxiety.
doi:10.1186/1129-2377-14-39
PMCID: PMC3653764  PMID: 23651123
Migraine; Anger; Anxiety; Children
2.  Headache and comorbidity in children and adolescents 
Headache is one of the most common neurological symptom reported in childhood and adolescence, leading to high levels of school absences and being associated with several comorbid conditions, particularly in neurological, psychiatric and cardiovascular systems. Neurological and psychiatric disorders, that are associated with migraine, are mainly depression, anxiety disorders, epilepsy and sleep disorders, ADHD and Tourette syndrome. It also has been shown an association with atopic disease and cardiovascular disease, especially ischemic stroke and patent foramen ovale (PFO).
doi:10.1186/1129-2377-14-79
PMCID: PMC3849985  PMID: 24063537
Headache; Comorbidity; Children; Adolescents
3.  Italian guidelines for primary headaches: 2012 revised version 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2012;13(Suppl 2):31-70.
The first edition of the Italian diagnostic and therapeutic guidelines for primary headaches in adults was published in J Headache Pain 2(Suppl. 1):105–190 (2001). Ten years later, the guideline committee of the Italian Society for the Study of Headaches (SISC) decided it was time to update therapeutic guidelines. A literature search was carried out on Medline database, and all articles on primary headache treatments in English, German, French and Italian published from February 2001 to December 2011 were taken into account. Only randomized controlled trials (RCT) and meta-analyses were analysed for each drug. If RCT were lacking, open studies and case series were also examined. According to the previous edition, four levels of recommendation were defined on the basis of levels of evidence, scientific strength of evidence and clinical effectiveness. Recommendations for symptomatic and prophylactic treatment of migraine and cluster headache were therefore revised with respect to previous 2001 guidelines and a section was dedicated to non-pharmacological treatment. This article reports a summary of the revised version published in extenso in an Italian version.
doi:10.1007/s10194-012-0437-6
PMCID: PMC3350623  PMID: 22581120
Guidelines; Primary headaches; Symptomatic and prophylactic treatment; Pharmacological and non pharmacological
4.  Overview of diagnosis and management of paediatric headache. Part I: diagnosis 
Headache is the most common somatic complaint in children and adolescents. The evaluation should include detailed history of children and adolescents completed by detailed general and neurological examinations. Moreover, the possible role of psychological factors, life events and excessively stressful lifestyle in influencing recurrent headache need to be checked. The choice of laboratory tests rests on the differential diagnosis suggested by the history, the character and temporal pattern of the headache, and the physical and neurological examinations. Subjects who have any signs or symptoms of focal/progressive neurological disturbances should be investigated by neuroimaging techniques. The electroencephalogram and other neurophysiological examinations are of limited value in the routine evaluation of headaches. In a primary headache disorder, headache itself is the illness and headache is not attributed to any other disorder (e.g. migraine, tension-type headache, cluster headache and other trigeminal autonomic cephalgias). In secondary headache disorders, headache is the symptom of identifiable structural, metabolic or other abnormality. Red flags include the first or worst headache ever in the life, recent headache onset, increasing severity or frequency, occipital location, awakening from sleep because of headache, headache occurring exclusively in the morning associated with severe vomiting and headache associated with straining. Thus, the differential diagnosis between primary and secondary headaches rests mainly on clinical criteria. A thorough evaluation of headache in children and adolescents is necessary to make the correct diagnosis and initiate treatment, bearing in mind that children with headache are more likely to experience psychosocial adversity and to grow up with an excess of both headache and other physical and psychiatric symptoms and this creates an important healthcare problem for their future life.
doi:10.1007/s10194-011-0297-5
PMCID: PMC3056001  PMID: 21359874
Headache; Childhood; Paediatric headaches; Diagnosis; Epidemiology; Defining features
5.  Overview of diagnosis and management of paediatric headache. Part I: diagnosis 
Headache is the most common somatic complaint in children and adolescents. The evaluation should include detailed history of children and adolescents completed by detailed general and neurological examinations. Moreover, the possible role of psychological factors, life events and excessively stressful lifestyle in influencing recurrent headache need to be checked. The choice of laboratory tests rests on the differential diagnosis suggested by the history, the character and temporal pattern of the headache, and the physical and neurological examinations. Subjects who have any signs or symptoms of focal/progressive neurological disturbances should be investigated by neuroimaging techniques. The electroencephalogram and other neurophysiological examinations are of limited value in the routine evaluation of headaches. In a primary headache disorder, headache itself is the illness and headache is not attributed to any other disorder (e.g. migraine, tension-type headache, cluster headache and other trigeminal autonomic cephalgias). In secondary headache disorders, headache is the symptom of identifiable structural, metabolic or other abnormality. Red flags include the first or worst headache ever in the life, recent headache onset, increasing severity or frequency, occipital location, awakening from sleep because of headache, headache occurring exclusively in the morning associated with severe vomiting and headache associated with straining. Thus, the differential diagnosis between primary and secondary headaches rests mainly on clinical criteria. A thorough evaluation of headache in children and adolescents is necessary to make the correct diagnosis and initiate treatment, bearing in mind that children with headache are more likely to experience psychosocial adversity and to grow up with an excess of both headache and other physical and psychiatric symptoms and this creates an important healthcare problem for their future life.
doi:10.1007/s10194-011-0297-5
PMCID: PMC3056001  PMID: 21359874
Headache; Childhood; Paediatric headaches; Diagnosis; Epidemiology; Defining features
6.  Overview of diagnosis and management of paediatric headache. Part II: therapeutic management 
A thorough evaluation of headache in children and adolescents is necessary to make the correct diagnosis and initiate treatment. In part 1 of this article (Özge et al. in J Headache Pain, 2010), we reviewed the diagnosis of headache in children and adolescents. In the present part, we will discuss therapeutic management of primary headaches. An appropriate management requires an individually tailored strategy giving due consideration to both non-pharmacological and pharmacological measures. Non-pharmacological treatments include relaxation training, biofeedback training, cognitive-behavioural therapy, different psychotherapeutic approaches or combinations of these treatments. The data supporting the effectiveness of these therapies are less clear-cut in children than in adults, but that is also true for the data supporting medical treatment. Management of migraine and TTH should include strategies relating to daily living activities, family relationships, school, friends and leisure time activities. In the pharmacological treatment age and gender of children, headache diagnosis, comorbidities and side effects of medication must be considered. The goal of symptomatic treatment should be a quick response with return to normal activity and without relapse. The drug should be taken as early as possible and in the appropriate dosage. Supplementary measures such as rest in a quiet, darkened room is recommended. Pharmaco-prophylaxis is only indicated if lifestyle modification and non-pharmacological prophylaxis alone are not effective. Although many prophylactic medications have been tried in paediatric migraine, there are only a few medications that have been studied in controlled trials. Multidisciplinary treatment is an effective strategy for children and adolescents with improvement of multiple outcome variants including frequency and severity of headache and school days missed because of headache. As a growing problem both children and families should be informed about medication overuse and the children’s drug-taking should be checked.
doi:10.1007/s10194-010-0256-6
PMCID: PMC3072476  PMID: 21170567
Migraine; Tension-type headache; Symptomatic treatment; Pharmacological prophylaxis; Non-pharmacological treatment
7.  Overview of diagnosis and management of paediatric headache. Part II: therapeutic management 
A thorough evaluation of headache in children and adolescents is necessary to make the correct diagnosis and initiate treatment. In part 1 of this article (Özge et al. in J Headache Pain, 2010), we reviewed the diagnosis of headache in children and adolescents. In the present part, we will discuss therapeutic management of primary headaches. An appropriate management requires an individually tailored strategy giving due consideration to both non-pharmacological and pharmacological measures. Non-pharmacological treatments include relaxation training, biofeedback training, cognitive-behavioural therapy, different psychotherapeutic approaches or combinations of these treatments. The data supporting the effectiveness of these therapies are less clear-cut in children than in adults, but that is also true for the data supporting medical treatment. Management of migraine and TTH should include strategies relating to daily living activities, family relationships, school, friends and leisure time activities. In the pharmacological treatment age and gender of children, headache diagnosis, comorbidities and side effects of medication must be considered. The goal of symptomatic treatment should be a quick response with return to normal activity and without relapse. The drug should be taken as early as possible and in the appropriate dosage. Supplementary measures such as rest in a quiet, darkened room is recommended. Pharmaco-prophylaxis is only indicated if lifestyle modification and non-pharmacological prophylaxis alone are not effective. Although many prophylactic medications have been tried in paediatric migraine, there are only a few medications that have been studied in controlled trials. Multidisciplinary treatment is an effective strategy for children and adolescents with improvement of multiple outcome variants including frequency and severity of headache and school days missed because of headache. As a growing problem both children and families should be informed about medication overuse and the children’s drug-taking should be checked.
doi:10.1007/s10194-010-0256-6
PMCID: PMC3072476  PMID: 21170567
Migraine; Tension-type headache; Symptomatic treatment; Pharmacological prophylaxis; Non-pharmacological treatment
8.  Psychiatric disorders and headache familial recurrence: a study on 200 children and their parents 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2009;10(3):187-197.
The main aim of the study was to examine the relationship between headache and familial recurrence of psychiatric disorders in parents and their children. Headache history and symptomatology have been collected in a clinical sample of 200 patients and their families, using a semi-structured interview (ICHD-II criteria). Psychiatric comorbidity was assessed by DSM-IV criteria. Chi squares and a loglinear analysis were computed in order to evaluate the main effects and interactions between the following factors: frequency and headache subtypes (migraine/not-migraine) in children, headache (migraine/not-migraine-absent/present) in parents, headache (absent/present) in grandparents, and psychiatric comorbidity (absent/present) have been analyzed: 94 mothers (47%) and 51 fathers (25.5%) had at least one psychiatric disorder, mainly mood and anxiety disorders. Considering the significant prevalence of Psi-co in children (P < 0.0001), we compared it with the presence of familiarity to headache: a significant interaction has been found (P < 0.05) showing that migraineurs with high familial recurrence of headache had a higher percentage (74.65%) of psychiatric disorders, than no-migraineurs (52.17%). Absence of headache familial loading seems to be related to psi-co only in no-migraine headache (87.5 vs. 45.5%). The occurrence of psychiatric disorders is high in children with headache, but a very different pattern seems to characterize migraine (familial co-transmission of migraine and Psi-Co?) if compared with non-migraine headache.
doi:10.1007/s10194-009-0105-7
PMCID: PMC3451992  PMID: 19352592
Headache; Child; Family; Genetic; Psychiatric disorders; Anxiety and depression
9.  The effect of placebo and neurophysiological involvements 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2004;5(Suppl 2):s74-s77.
Placebo and placebo effect are important issues related to the drug therapy for clinical and scientific meanings. The rates of placebo may get as many as 50% for analgesic drugs in headache. The high answer to placebo brings questions on pathophysiology of headache. Answers may offer a new strategy in the implementation of trials and new insight in neurophysiology of headache. Current knowledge on placebo and placebo effect will be analysed and dicussed looking for new direction in headache field.
doi:10.1007/s10194-004-0113-6
PMCID: PMC3451594
Placebo; Headache; Migraine; Treatment; Drug therapy
10.  Clinical neurophysiology in childhood headache 
Several neurophysiological techniques are available for examining children with headache. The choice among them is made according to clinical features.
Electroencephalography (EEG) is commonly performed in headache; abnormalities observed are heterogeneous, and specific patterns have been described in different forms of complicated migraine. Quantitative EEG, brain mapping and spectral analysis are at present useful mainly for research purposes and in migraine diagnosis.
Polysomnography studies are just at the beginning but they have been providing interesting findings. Visual evoked potentials (VEPs) have demonstrated conflicting results: increased amplitudes observed in migraine children need to be replicated and methodological flaws need to be corrected. Event-related potentials (ERPs) have been used to shed light on cognitive processes related to migraine during development of the nervous system.
Electromyography studies have documented increased spontaneous muscle activity in tension-type headache, but further studies are awaited. Overall, clinical neurophysiology is of primary interest in studying functional mechanisms of headache and migraine symptoms. In clinical practice, these procedures are not essential for diagnosis but are relevant for clarifying specific problems.
doi:10.1007/s10194-004-0075-8
PMCID: PMC3451622
Childhood headache; Clinical neurophysiology
11.  Up to date on the use of triptans for child and adolescent migraine: state of the art 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2001;2(Suppl 1):s97-s101.
The introduction of triptans, in the early 1990s, has improved the therapy for acute migraine attack, offering a new quality of life for those patients who suffer from this disabling neurological disorder. Epidemiological data point out that about 10% of school–age children suffer from migraine, with a progressive increase in incidence and prevalence up to the threshold of adulthood. The increase in extent and prevalence of migraine from the years of growth stresses the importance of the application and adjustment of ad hoc therapeutic (either pharmacological or not) and diagnostic measures. Indeed, the peculiar neurobiological and psychological aspects which are typical of an “evolving” organism preclude the use, by simple “transposition” or “proportion”, of the knowledge acquired from adult–targeted studies. That requires the implementation of studies to analyze the specific responses of children and adolescents to the triptans. To date, the studies on such issues are absolutely insufficient to draw definitive conclusions and indications for the use of triptans for child and adolescent migraineurs.
doi:10.1007/s101940170019
PMCID: PMC3451819
Migraine; Triptans; Child; Adolescent; Acute therapy
12.  Sleep apnea in childhood migraine 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2000;1(3):169-172.
In our previous study we found a high prevalence of disordered sleep breathing in migraine children vs. controls. Since no quantitative studies about sleep respiratory disorders have been carried out in migraine children, we performed a polysomnographic (PSG) study in 10 migraine patients (7 boys, 3 girls; mean age 8.11 years, range, 5.8–14.5) attending the Headache Center of our department, to evaluate the presence of sleep apnea. Mothers completed a headache diary and a sleep diary for at least 1 month and filled out a sleep questionnaire. PSG data showed a normal sleep architecture in 3 cases, an insomnia pattern in 2, a reduction of slow wave sleep in 3 and a reduction of REM sleep in 2. Respiratory analysis revealed that 2 of 10 patients had obstructive sleep apnea. These 2 patients presented habitual snoring and associated sleep disturbances such as restless sleep and hypnic jerks. Sleep apnea may be a subtle and often undiagnosed symptom in several migraine patients. The report of habitual snoring associated with other sleep disturbances such as restless sleep and other parasomnias may be a sign of sleep apnea in migraine children.
doi:10.1007/s101940070039
PMCID: PMC3611783
Key words Migraine; Sleep; Sleep apnea; Children
13.  Chronic daily headache in developmental ages: diagnostic issues 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2000;1(Suppl 1):S89-S93.
Chronic daily headache (CDH) in children and adolescents presents features not sufficiently recognized by the current classification system. The aim of our study was to analyze the applicability of adult CDH classification in child and adolescent clinical populations, outlining similarities and differences. In the developmental age, frequent and severe migraine attacks may overlap daily crises of tension-type headache. The clinical onset features are similar to the subsequent (chronic) trend, while in adults, it is more typical that migraine changes over time, taking tension features with almost daily crises. Headache with onset in children or adolescents presents age-related characteristics and the classification system should be better tailored to the peculiarities of this clinical phenomenology. Having a strong diagnostic system is the sine qua non of further investigations in epidemiology, etiopathogenesis, and therapy of CDH.
doi:10.1007/s101940070033
PMCID: PMC3611806
Key words Children; Classification; Chronic daily headache

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