News Release

Mother's migraine may increase baby's risk of colic

Peer-Reviewed Publication

American Academy of Neurology

NEW ORLEANS – New research suggests that mothers who experience migraine may be more likely to have a baby with colic than mothers without a history of migraine. Colic is defined as excessive crying in an otherwise healthy infant. The research was released today and will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 64th Annual Meeting in New Orleans April 21 to April 28, 2012.

"Since migraine is a highly genetic disorder, our study suggests that infant colic may be an early sign that a child may be predisposed toward migraine headache later in life," said study author Amy Gelfand, MD, child neurologist with the Headache Center at the University of California, San Francisco, and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. "Colic may be another example of a childhood periodic syndrome, which is often a precursor to migraine."

For the study, researchers analyzed information about 154 mothers and their babies. Colic was reported by parents based on questions developed by study researchers using standard criteria for colic.

The study found that babies whose mothers had a history of migraine were two-and-a-half times more likely to have colic than infants whose mothers did not have a history of migraine. Overall, 29 percent of infants whose mothers had migraine had colic compared to 11 percent of those babies whose mothers did not have migraine.

"This may be helpful in more accurately identifying children who have childhood periodic syndromes by asking about a history of infant colic. In addition, this study helps to advance our understanding about the different expressions of migraine across a person's lifetime," said Gelfand.


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The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 25,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as stroke, Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis.

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