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Pediatric Migraine Variants: a Review of Epidemiology, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Outcome


Pediatric migraine variants, previously known as childhood periodic syndromes, migraine equivalents, or migraine precursors, are a group of periodic or paroxysmal disorders occurring in patients who also have migraine with or without aura, or who have an increased likelihood of developing migraine. They have common key clinical features including periodic or paroxysmal character, normal neurological examination between attacks, family history of migraine, and clinical evolution to classic types of migraine. This article aims to review the pathophysiology, evaluation, and management of the pediatric migraine variants including abdominal migraine, benign paroxysmal vertigo, cyclic vomiting syndrome, and benign paroxysmal torticollis as well as the episodic syndromes that may lead to migraine, infantile colic, alternating hemiplegia of childhood, and vestibular migraine.

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Ana Marissa Lagman-Bartolome and Christine Lay declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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Correspondence to Ana Marissa Lagman-Bartolome.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Headache

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Lagman-Bartolome, A.M., Lay, C. Pediatric Migraine Variants: a Review of Epidemiology, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Outcome. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep 15, 34 (2015).

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  • Childhood periodic syndromes
  • Cyclic vomiting syndrome
  • Abdominal migraine
  • Benign paroxysmal torticollis
  • Benign paroxysmal vertigo
  • Infantile colic
  • Alternating hemiplegia of childhood
  • Vestibular migraine
  • Motion sickness