Headache and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder in children: Common condition with complex relation and disabling consequences

Pasquale Parisi, Alberto Verrotti, Maria Chiara Paolino, Alessandro Ferretti, Umberto Raucci, Romina Moavero, Maria Pia Villa, Paolo Curatolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The aim of this review was to analyze literature data on the complex association between headache and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, in order to explore its possible consequences on child neurological development.Headache and ADHD are two common conditions in the pediatric population. They both are disabling diseases that impact the child's quality of life and are associated with severe cognitive, emotional, and behavioral impairments. To assess and analyze literature data about the association of ADHD and headache in children and possible physiopathogenesis relationships, we searched for the following terms: headache, migraine, tension-type headache, ADHD, and children (MESH or text words).We found different studies that assess the clinical, epidemiological, and physiopathogenetic overlap between these two diseases, with contrasting results and unresolved questions. Structural and functional abnormalities in brain networks have been found to be central in both headache and ADHD pathophysiology. It will be crucial to gain a better understanding of how subcortical-cortical and corticocortical network development is altered during the onset of the disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-75
Number of pages4
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014



  • ADHD
  • Comorbidity
  • Headache
  • Hyperactivity
  • Inattention
  • Migraine
  • Overlap

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • Medicine(all)

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