Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Babies' colic linked to mothers' migraines

Date:
February 20, 2012
Source:
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
Summary:
A study of mothers and their young babies by neurologists has shown that mothers who suffer migraine headaches are more than twice as likely to have babies with colic than mothers without a history of migraines.

A study of mothers and their young babies by neurologists at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) has shown that mothers who suffer migraine headaches are more than twice as likely to have babies with colic than mothers without a history of migraines.

Related Articles


The work raises the question of whether colic may be an early symptom of migraine and therefore whether reducing stimulation may help just as reducing light and noise can alleviate migraine pain. That is significant because excessive crying is one of the most common triggers for shaken baby syndrome, which can cause death, brain damage and severe disability.

"If we can understand what is making the babies cry, we may be able to protect them from this very dangerous outcome," said Amy Gelfand, MD, a child neurologist with the Headache Center at UCSF who will present the findings at the American Academy of Neurology's 64th Annual Meeting, which takes place in New Orleans in April.

Colic, or excessive crying in an otherwise healthy infant, has long been associated with gastrointestinal problems -- presumably caused by something the baby ate. However, despite more than 50 years of research, no definitive link has been proven between infant colic and gastrointestinal problems. Babies who are fed solely breast milk are as likely to have colic as those fed formula, and giving colicky babies medication for gas does not help.

"We've known about colic for a really long time," Gelfand said, "but despite this fact, no one really knows why these babies are crying."

How the Study was Conducted

In the UCSF study, Gelfand and her colleagues surveyed 154 new mothers bringing their infants to the pediatrician for routine check ups at two months, the age when colicky crying typically peaks. The mothers were surveyed about their babies' crying patterns and their own history of migraine, and those responses were analyzed to make sure the reported crying did indeed fit the clinical definition of colic.

Mothers who suffered migraines were found to be two-and-a-half times more likely to have colicky babies. Overall, 29 percent of infants whose mothers had migraines had colic compared to 11 percent of babies whose mothers did not have migraines.

Gelfand and her colleagues believe colic may be an early manifestation of a set of conditions known as childhood periodic syndromes, believed to be precursors to migraine headaches later in life.

Babies with colic may be more sensitive to stimuli in their environment just as are migraine sufferers. They may have more difficulty coping with the onslaught of new stimuli after birth as they are thrust from the dark, warm, muffled life inside the womb into a world that is bright, cold, noisy and filled with touchy hands and bouncy knees.

The UCSF team next plans to study a group of colicky babies over the course of their childhood to see if they develop other childhood periodic syndromes, such as abdominal migraine.

The presentation "Infant Colic is Associated with Maternal Migraine" by Amy Gelfand, Katherine Thomas, and Peter Goadsby will be made on April 25 in New Orleans.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). "Babies' colic linked to mothers' migraines." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120220203001.htm>.
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). (2012, February 20). Babies' colic linked to mothers' migraines. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120220203001.htm
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). "Babies' colic linked to mothers' migraines." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120220203001.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

AP (Dec. 16, 2014) More departments are ordering their first responders to sit in on training sessions that focus on how to more effectively interact with those with autism spectrum disorder (Dec. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Newsy (Dec. 12, 2014) A study out of Britain suggest men are more idiotic than women based on the rate of accidental deaths and other factors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins