Roughly 15% of children suffer from migraines, and approximately one-third of these affected children have migraines with aura, a collection of symptoms that can include weakness, blind spots, and even hallucinations.
Although the causes of migraines are unclear, a new study soon to be published in The Journal of Paediatrics suggests a connection between migraine headaches in children and a heart defect called patent foramen ovale.
The researchers took two-dimensional echocardiograms of each child's heart, looking for a patent foramen ovale (PFO), a common defect in the wall between the two upper chambers of the heart.
Although a PFO is not necessarily dangerous, it can allow unfiltered blood to bypass the lungs and circulate throughout the body. As Dr McCandless explains, "Some adult studies have suggested a link between having a PFO and migraine headaches."