The Beaumont Children’s Hospital in Royal Oak has opened a center devoted to treating comprehensive and specialized care for children and adolescents who experience headaches.
“Head pain is a common symptom affecting kids,” says Elizabeth Leleszi, a pediatric neurologist, who will direct the center. “Children and teens may experience many different headache types and the problem can, in some cases, be debilitating. Patients and families are often frustrated; children sometimes experience chronic pain, often missing school and extracurricular activities.
“Our center utilizes a team approach in implementing a care plan for each patient,” says Leleszi, who is also a professor at Oakland University’s William Beaumont School of Medicine.
The center offers advanced diagnostic testing, neuroimaging such as an MRI, and an on-site laboratory. It is comprised of pediatric specialists from neurology, physical therapy, psychology, dietary, and social work.
“The initial focus is a comprehensive evaluation by a pediatric neurologist,” Leleszi says. “Using headache diagnostic criteria, combined with a patient history and neurological exam, a pain management plan is developed to decrease the frequency and severity of the headaches.”
About 20 percent of school-age children in the U.S. have headaches, according to the National Headache Foundation. Of that group, 15 percent experience tension-type headaches and 5 percent have migraines.