Maternal migraine is associated with increased risk of infant colic.

One wonders if an updated view of genetics, i.e. one that includes epigenetics would make more sense. We mentioned the nexus of migraine, panic disorder, separation anxiety and abdominal symptoms in childhood in our 2008 paper [Preter M, Klein DF. Panic, Suffocation False Alarms, Separation Anxiety and Endogenous Opioids. Progress in Neuropsychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry 32/3 (2008) 603-612. Full version at PubMed Central] and lecture.


Before the headache
Infant colic as an early life expression of migraine
Amy A. Gelfand, MD, Katherine C. Thomas, BS and Peter J. Goadsby, MD, PhD
+ Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology, Division of Child Neurology (A.A.G.), Headache Center (A.A.G., P.J.G.), and School of Medicine (K.C.T.), University of California, San Francisco.
Correspondence & reprint requests to Dr. Gelfand:
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Objective: Childhood periodic syndromes are thought to be early life expressions of the genetic tendency for migraine. The objective of this study was to determine whether maternal migraine is associated with an increased risk of infant colic, because this may indicate that colic is a childhood periodic syndrome.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study performed in general pediatric clinics. To minimize recall bias, mothers were surveyed at their infants’ 2-month-old well-child visit, the age when colic is most prevalent. Colic was ascertained via parental report using modified Wessel criteria. Migraine history was obtained by having a physician diagnosis or a positive screen on ID Migraine. The primary outcome measure was difference in colic prevalence in infants with and without a maternal history of migraine.

Results: Data from 154 infant-mother pairs were analyzed. Infants with a maternal history of migraine were 2.6 times as likely to have colic as infants without a maternal history of migraine (29% vs 11%, prevalence ratio 2.6 (95% confidence interval 1.2?5.5), p = 0.02). There was no difference in the accuracy with which migraineur mothers perceived their infants’ colic status compared with that of nonmigraineur mothers. Data on paternal history of migraine were available for 93 infants. Infants with a paternal history of migraine may have a higher prevalence of colic (22% vs 10%), although the prevalence ratio 2.3 (0.6?9.4, p = 0.24) had wide confidence intervals.

Conclusions: Maternal migraine is associated with increased risk of infant colic. Because migraine has a strong genetic underpinning, this association suggests that colic may be an early life manifestation of migraine.

Received March 1, 2012.
Accepted May 31, 2012.
Copyright ? 2012 by AAN Enterprises, Inc.
Articles citing this article
Infant colic and migraine: Is there a connection?
Neurology September 25, 2012 79:e112-e115
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