Approximately half of the people who get migraines have their first attack before the age of 12. They have even been reported in children as young as 18 months. Cedar Health Research is currently conducting pediatric migraine studies to improve future options for children who suffer from them. To help get the word out, we’ve asked our Chief Medical Officer and Principal Investigator, Dr. Fink, some questions about migraines in kids.
Ezekiel Fink M.D. is a Harvard trained physician with triple board certifications in neurology, pain medicine, and brain injury medicine. He has designed numerous industry clinical trials and was the principal investigator / co-investigator in multiple studies and trials. Let’s talk about kid’s migraines and answer some common questions about them with Dr. Fink.
Question: Tell us a little bit about your role. What motivates you to participate in clinical research?
Dr. Fink: participating in the process of innovating new therapies really inspires me.
Question: What are the causes of migraines in children, and are their symptoms different than adults?
Dr. Fink: the cause of migraine is a really interesting and evolving part of medical research – a good overview can be found at https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraine-headache/symptoms-causes/syc-20360201.
Migraine is a common headache disorder that occurs in children and adolescents. It can be disabling and is characterized by headache that is often throbbing and accompanied by symptoms such as light and noise sensitivity, nausea, and vomiting. It can be similar to the headaches experienced by adults but the symptoms can be different than adults – for example, kids more frequently have pain on both sides of the head and adults more frequently will have symptoms impacting one side of the head.
Question: Children participating in clinical trials is a pretty controversial subject. In general, why is it important for children to participate in clinical trials?
Dr. Fink: Children are a uniquely vulnerable population and a lot of focus needs to be placed on which studies are justifiable and what safeguards and oversight are present. Parents, physicians, and researchers have an obligation to protect children from the harms of research but this needs to be balanced against the goal of discovering new treatments or cures for childhood illnesses.
Question: What would you say to a parent who was apprehensive about putting their child in a clinical trial for migraines?
Dr. Fink: I understand and respect the hesitancy. It is a personal decision. Ultimately, we must protect children but also have to do our best to make progress on treating illnesses.
If you are motivated to participate in research and have concerns, I recommend a thorough review of the informed consent with the Principal Investigator to get the best understanding of potential risks and benefits of a given trial.
Improving the Future of Pediatric Migraines
At Cedar Heath Research, we understand when your child is suffering from a health condition, it affects everyone. When you decide to participate in clinical research studies, you help improve current and future patients’ healthcare. If your child has migraines, research studies enrolling currently here at Cedar Health Research may be an option. To learn more, call (214) 253-8170 or visit our website for more information.