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Headaches in children are a common problem—70% of school children have headaches at least once a year, with 25% suffering from recurrent headaches. This book is part of the Clinics in Developmental Medicine series, and provides a comprehensive overview of the subject. The book is divided into clear chapters, which makes it easy to dip into. It includes interesting sections on pain perception in children and neonates, as well as a good epidemiology section. Throughout the book there are summary tables of recently published studies. In the later chapters there are case histories, including parental descriptions, which break up the occasionally slightly long winded text. There is an extensive list of references at the end of each chapter.
I found the chapters on migraine enlightening, especially the theories on pathophysiology of migraine. The diagnostic criteria for migraine are easy to read and clear. There is an excellent overview on the psychological treatment of headaches, regardless of diagnostic type. Again, the evidence is summarised in clear tables. There is a practical section on managing abdominal migraine. Causes of headaches are divided into separate chapters for specific and rare causes, which was helpful when I used the text when on call.
The final chapter talks about setting up a headache clinic, including a discussion on diagnostic tests. There is a headache questionnaire for parents, which I would find very helpful. There is also advice on the role of the multidisciplinary team in management.
This book would be a valuable addition to a general paediatric department, both in outpatients and for reference when on call.
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