Comorbidity with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

  • Marco A. Arruda
  • Marcelo Eduardo Bigal
Part of the Headache book series (HEAD)


Primary headaches and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are prevalent in childhood and may cause impairment in social and school functioning. We review the literature and present the results of two populational studies we have conducted in Brazil in order to discuss the possible comorbidity between ADHD with specific headache syndromes or with headache characteristics. The role of methodological aspects is also presented, as well as their influence in the findings of clinical and populational studies. According to our results, we concluded that migraine and ADHD are comorbid and may add to the impact on quality of life, mental health, school performance, and other important outcomes in the lives of children and adolescents. In children with any migraine subtype (migraine overall, episodic migraine, probable migraine, and chronic migraine), ADHD diagnosis was most significantly influenced by frequency of headache attacks, headache severity, nausea during attacks, phonophobia, psychosocial adjustment difficulties, and a below-average school achievement. Providers and educators should be aware of the association. By identifying children with ADHD and comorbid headaches, practitioners will be more capable to offer a complete and holistical therapeutic approach, maximizing the chance for improvement and the outcomes of therapy.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Child and Adolescent NeurologistGlia InstituteRibeirao PretoBrazil
  2. 2.NeurologistTeva Pharmaceuticals Research and DevelopmentFrazerUSA

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