Migraine in childhood: an organic, biobehavioral, or psychosomatic disorder?

  • Vincenzo GuidettiEmail author
  • Rita Cerutti
  • Noemi Faedda
  • Giulia Natalucci
Review Article


Migraine is one of the most frequent complaints in children and adolescents and it can have a significant impact on quality of life. There are several factors underlying the onset and the maintenance of this disorder and there is still no a clear etiopathogenesis common to all subjects suffering from migraine. Psychological factors such as individual characteristics, psychiatric comorbidities, and temperament are strictly related to psychosomatic disorders and to migraine. Also, the environmental influence is very relevant and studied: socio-economic status, family dysfunctions, attachment style, or psychiatric disease in parents can influence the onset of migraine in children. Finally, many studies are trying to find out any alteration in genetics or in cerebral areas or networks that can explain migraine vulnerability. In this review, we analyze the most recent findings on neurological, psychological, and environmental factors that may potentially cause migraine.


Migraine Childhood Biobehavioral Psychosomatic 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical standards

This article does not contain any study with human subjects performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Fondazione Società Italiana di Neurologia 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vincenzo Guidetti
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rita Cerutti
    • 2
  • Noemi Faedda
    • 1
  • Giulia Natalucci
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Human Neuroscience, Section of Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry“Sapienza” UniversityRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Dynamic and Clinical Psychology“Sapienza” UniversityRomeItaly

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