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Helping Kids with Migraines by Using Cognitive Therapy

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In a randomized trial, researchers found that when cognitive therapy was applied to a child's care when they suffer from migraines, the frequency of the attacks seemed to be lessened. In the recent study, scientists used amitryptiline medication along with the cognitive therapy. The children ranged from ages 10 to 17 years of age and seemed to deal with less than 4.7 headaches a month when the two therapies were combined.

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According to the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, at least two thirds of the kids had 50% less headaches per month compared to 36% of children who only attended an educational class. The Journal of American Medical Association reported that the new study indicates how effective cognitive behavioral therapy seems to help with migraine treatments in children and adolescents.

Sadly, it seems that many primary care physicians lack the training and/or time that it takes to explain the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy for migraine treatment in children. Other barrier issues, such as reimbursement problems may keep such proper treatment from being accessible to parents in the long run.

135 children were diagnosed with chronic migraine according to strict criteria in the one year trial.This included 15 self reported headache days a month, along with a diagnostic disability scale called Pediatric Migraine Disability Assessment Score (PedMIDAS) of at least 20 when completed. 361 children qualified for the trail, but 226 refused due to various reasons.

By using electromyographic biofeedback and thermal readings, the children were taught how to use cognitive behavioral techniques in order relax and cope with their pain. This new study was very extensive, and seems to be a great way to help kids with migraines while using relaxation techniques.

By Tina Elliott


MedPage Today



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