Migraines Linked to Teen Learning Disabilities


“Migraines becoming more common in adolescents”

According to a combined study by over ten international research facilities, headaches are becoming more prevalent amongst school children. Results show 66% to 71% of 12- to 15- year-olds having at least one headache every three months, and 33% to 40% having at least one per week on average.

Headache is often accompanied by other physical and/or emotional manifestations. The same study identified various factors - a dysfunctional family situation, the regular consumption of alcohol, caffeine ingestion, smoking, a low level of physical activity, physical or emotional abuse, bullying by peers, unfair treatment in school, and insufficient leisure time – can be individually linked to headache in children.

“Learning Disabilities ADD linked to migraines”

Medical records of children and adolescents visiting pediatric neurology clinics were reviewed over a one year period. Among first time patients, 24% were formally diagnosed with learning disabilities, and a staggering 28% with ADHD.

Dr Elliot Shevel, Migraine Surgeon and Medical Director of The Headache Clinic since its inception in 1992 concurs, “Research shows poor to average academic performance are more common amongst children with headaches. We should look deeper at poor performance. It may be more complicated than a parent might think.”

 “Missing class and migraines”

Another recent study suggests a staggering 30% of tertiary students suffer from headaches severe enough to miss class.

The Headache Impact Test (HIT-6) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale were used to measure the severity of Migraines in each student. Three hundred and forty four university students participated in this peer reviewed study.

From the sample, 30.8% (106 students) have missed class, and of those 8.7% (30 students) have had to seek emergency services.


 To find out more about non drug treatment for children and adolescents suffering from headaches, call 0861 678 911 or visit www.theheadacheclinic.net

For more information or to set up an interview with Dr. Shevel, please contact Adrienne McCarthy on +27 72 646 0235.



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