|Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News|Health Tip: Turn Off Those ScreensKids' Sun Safety Means 'Slip, Slap, Slop'Pediatricians Missing Elevated Blood Lead Levels in U.S.AAP Stresses Medical Home Best for Acute Health ConcernsAre Kids' Vaccines a Victim of Their Own Success?Checklist for Family-Centered Rounds Deemed BeneficialChildren With Suspected Child Abuse Present to Hospital LateCancer Risk Rises After Childhood Organ Transplant: StudyModel Predicts Which Pediatric ER Patients Likely to Be AdmittedObesity Quadruples Kids' Type 2 Diabetes Risk: StudyAre You Raising an 'Emotional Eater'?More Risks on School Playgrounds Linked to Happier ChildrenKids Face Their Own Death Risks When a Sibling DiesIn America's Poorest Communities, a Greater Risk of Child Abuse DeathsFDA Warns Against Children Taking Codeine, TramadolNext Seven Great Achievements in Pediatric Research PredictedMany Students Reluctant to Use Asthma Inhalers at SchoolDon't Give Kids Medicines With Codeine, Tramadol: FDAMany Kids Still Being Injured on ATVsHypnosis Doesn't Improve Post-Op Anxiety, Pain in ChildrenHealth Tip: Minimizing Violence During Screen TimeHealth Tip: Concerned About Your Child's Weight?What's the Best Seasonal Allergy Med for Your Kid?Web-Based Platform Better for Delivering Pre-Op InformationKids Can Pick Up Nicotine on Their HandsHealth Tip: Checking Your Child's MolesCould a Clinical Trial Help Your Child?Direct-Acting Antivirals Approved for Children 12+ With HCVWhen Families Lack Insurance, Kids' Dental Woes Rise10 Minutes of Sweat a Day Helps Kids' HeartsOutdoor Play May Foster Little EnvironmentalistsHealth Tip: Is Your Child Sleeping Enough?Red Cell Distribution Width Predicts Surgical ComplicationsFar Fewer Kids Are Dying Worldwide, but Gains Are UnevenVaccinating Pregnant Moms Protects Babies From Whooping CoughMost U.S. Kids Who Die From Flu Are UnvaccinatedCommon Post-Op Ear Drops Tied to Eardrum Perforations in KidsParents' Pot Use a Tricky Topic When It Comes to Their KidsHealth Tip: Help Your Child with Body ImageLead Exposure as Child, Lower IQ as Adult?Just 17 U.S. States Require Defibrillators in Some SchoolsMany Kids With Diabetes Missing Out on Eye Exams, Study FindsOlder Mothers May Raise Better-Behaved Kids, Study SuggestsHealth Tip: Check Your Child's TemperatureFruit Juice for Kids: A Serving a Day OK'Eraser Challenge' Latest Harmful Social Media Trend for Kids'Heads Up' Football Program Tackles Concussion Danger in KidsParents Don't Always Head to Child's Doctor When Illness StrikesSpring-Clean Your Medicine Cabinet to Safeguard Your KidsFewer U.S. Kids Overdosing on OpioidsQuestions and AnswersLinks
Headaches Often Strike Before Strokes in Kids: Study
by -- Alan Mozes
Updated: Feb 22nd 2017
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 22, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Children are much more likely than adults to have a headache before an ischemic stroke, new research suggests.
An ischemic stroke is caused by a blocked blood vessel in the brain.
"Stroke should be considered as a possible diagnosis in any child with a headache and additional symptoms of weakness or numbness in the face, arm, or leg, or changes in walking, talking, or vision," study author Dr. Lori Billinghurst said in an American Stroke Association news release.
"Urgent brain imaging may be required to distinguish a migraine with aura from a stroke," Billinghurst added. She is a clinical assistant professor of neurology at the University of Pennsylvania and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
But stroke is extremely rare in children, affecting far less than 1 percent of kids from birth to age 18 each year, according to the stroke association.
The current study included 355 pediatric stroke patients. The children in the study were as young as less than 1 month of age, up until 18 years.
Forty-six percent of the children over age 3 when they had a stroke said they'd had a headache before the stroke. In children under 3, about 6 percent of youngsters reported a headache before their stroke. The researchers noted that kids under 3 may not have been able to report having a headache.
Headache incidence records were based on physician and patient reports of headache. No information on headache onset, length and treatment was available.
The study team noted that among those over the age of 3 when they had a stroke, half also had a headache whether or not their stroke was related to a blood vessel problem.
However, among those with a blood vessel problem -- such as a tear or narrowing -- the rate of headache before stroke rose to 7 in 10 patients, the study found.
The rate of headache was lower in kids whose stroke was related to blood vessel wall inflammation following a pre-stroke infection, cancer or serious medical condition. Roughly four in 10 of such children experienced a headache leading up to their stroke.
"It is possible that younger brains have blood vessels that are more easily distended and more likely to activate pain sensors that trigger headache," Billinghurst suggested.
"It is also possible that inflammation -- a powerful activator of pain sensors -- may be more important in the processes underlying stroke in children than in adults," she said.
But more research is needed before doctors could use headache incidence to help figure out the cause of a stroke after the fact, she said.
The study is to be presented Wednesday at the International Stroke Conference in Houston. Findings presented at meetings are generally viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
The study was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
There's more on strokes and children at the American Heart Association.
This article: Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.