Are headaches linked to learning disabilities and ADHD?

By Drum Digital
22 May 2014

According to a recent study, headaches are becoming increasingly common in adolescents which may cause them to miss school and in some cases even experience learning disabilities.

According to a recent study migraines are becoming increasingly common in adolescents which may cause them to miss school and in some cases even experience learning disabilities.

The study, which was recently done at 10 international research facilities, found about 70 per cent of children between the ages of 12 and 15 experience at least one bad headache every three months. More than a third of these kids experienced it more than once a week.

What could be causing a headache?

Headaches are often, but not always, accompanied by physical or emotional factors such as the following:

  • A stressful family situation
  • Regular consumption of alcohol
  • Caffeine ingestion
  • Smoking
  • A low level of physical activity,
  • Physical or emotional abuse
  • Bullying by peers
  • Unfair treatment at school
  • Insufficient leisure time

The dangers of headaches in children

During the year-long study of the medical records of children and adolescents treated at neurology clinics, it was found about a quarter of young headache sufferers were diagnosed with learning disabilities and almost a third with ADHD.

Dr Elliot Shevel, migraine surgeon and medical director of The Headache Clinic in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, says research shows poor to average academic performance are more common among children who suffer from headaches. “We should look deeper at poor performance. It may be more complicated than a parent might think.”

Get help

Don’t leave your kids’ headaches untreated. Talk to your child about the possibility of them suffering any of the possible causes listed above and visit your doctor to have them properly examined. For more information, go to theheadacheclinic.net.

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