Harry Potter and the Curse of Headache
Admittedly with a touch of whimsy, a review in the journal Headache has uncovered the hidden burden of headache affecting one of the world's most famous teenagers: Harry Potter. In an analysis of how headache has afflicted the boy wizard over the course of JK Rowling's books, the authors Dr. Fred Sheftell, Dr. Timothy Steiner and Hallie Thomas - a teenage migraine sufferer - conclude Harry suffers from 'probable migraine'. Light hearted it may be, but the report is actually a practical exercise in the application of the International Headache Society's International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD-II).
And it has a serious message. The aim of the publication was to highlight the impact headaches have on children as well as adults. Studies show that headache affects 50% of 7 to 15 years olds, and migraine affects up to one in ten of the same age group. As a result, school- or work-days lost because of migraine alone are estimated at 400,000 per million people every year in developed countries.