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2011-05-24

CoQ10 for Migraine Prevention in Children & Teens

It's been a slow week and I've finally found a study worth talking about. But first, here's a video that cracked me up last night. Seems to be quite a popular video, so maybe you've seen it already. If not, enjoy...


So now for the study... coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) has previously demonstrated efficacy for migraine prevention in adults, but there is a lack of research in kids and teens. 

CoQ10 has been observed to be deficient in a significant number of children and adolescents with migraines, and has the potential to modify both the inflammatory changes that occur during recurrent migraine and the alteration of mitochondrial function. So, this study looked at administering CoQ10 to kids and teens to help prevent the frequency of migraine headaches, as well a reducing its severity and duration.

The results showed that CoQ10 supplementation was able to reduce all three parameters measured (frequency, severity, and duration). The downside of the study? These results were also found in the placebo group.

While this was a well-designed study, it could have used a greater sample size to really flush out whether or not there is a significant benefits over the placebo effect.

However, perhaps the greatest limitation of the study was its length -- especially since it was a cross-over study. The studies in adults suggest you need to take CoQ10 for at least three months before you notice a benefit, so the length of study likely wasn't long enough (especially since you'll need a significant wash-out period before the cross-over). If children take just as long as adults to respond to CoQ10 prophylactic treatment, the study was definitely far from being long enough to reveal a benefit that is greater than placebo effect.

However, when the results are taken together with the studies in adults, the totality of evidence still suggests CoQ10 would benefit recurrent migraine sufferers. At the very least, it can't hurt, and at best, it'll offer many other health benefits outside of migraine prevention.

Source: A randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover, add-on study of CoEnzyme Q10 in the prevention of pediatric and adolescent migraine

Update: The following was added on May 30, 2011

After posting this, I remember a recent study I had read earlier in the month... it was regarding abdominal migraines in children. This new study suggested that up to 15% of recurrent abdominal pain in children meets the criteria for abdominal migraine (AM).

What's more is that AM seems to be a risk factor for migraine headaches later on (either later in childhood or as adults).

Anecdotal evidence indicates that other strategies used to treat migraine headache — for example, getting regular exercise, eating regular meals, getting enough sleep, and avoiding triggers, such as chocolate and caffeine — are also useful in AM. The lead researcher also says that about one-third of migraines are triggered by a food (sometimes just telling a kid to eat breakfast or to exercise every day helps).

This may indicate that CoQ10 or ubiquinol (the reduced form of CoQ10, which in my opinion is much better) may be useful in cases of AM.

Source: Abdominal Migraine: An Under-Diagnosed Cause of Recurrent Abdominal Pain in Children

Other posts discussing new CoQ10 studies:

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