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Bridges4Kids LogoMigraine Headaches and Tourette Syndrome
from Ivanhoe News & The Archives of Neurology, November 24, 2003
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Tourette syndrome is the most common childhood genetic movement disorder. Previous research shows children with Tourette syndrome also suffer from migraines. A new study confirms those findings. The new research reports the frequency of migraine headaches in Tourette syndrome children is nearly four-times more than the frequency of migraines in the general population.

Tourette syndrome is characterized by motor and phonic tics that fluctuate in severity and frequency. Previous research has found that children with Tourette syndrome who have obsessive-compulsive traits have migraines. Researchers from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston conducted a study to investigate the possible association between migraine headache and Tourette syndrome and to look at the family history of migraine headaches in patients with Tourette syndrome.

For the study, patients who were diagnosed with Tourette syndrome answered a migraine headache questionnaire. Researchers then looked at the number of patients with Tourette syndrome and migraines and compared that to the general population. They also noted the family history of migraines and whether the patient also suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Study authors report out of the 100 patients with Tourette syndrome, 25 suffered from migraine headaches. This is significantly higher than the estimated 10 percent to 13 percent of people who have migraines in the general population and the estimated 2 percent to 10 percent in the general pediatric population. Researchers also found there was no difference in the obsessive-compulsive traits of the patients with or without migraines. However researchers did find that of the patients with Tourette syndrome, 56 percent reported a family history of migraines with 44 percent of who were first-degree relatives.

Researchers conclude the frequency of migraine headaches is much more common in patients with Tourette syndrome. However, contrary to previous research the occurrence of migraines and Tourette syndrome was not related to obsessive-compulsive traits. Instead researchers speculate there may be a genetic link to Tourette syndrome and the occurrence of migraine headaches.

This article was reported by, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week.

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