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J Child Neurol. 2018 Apr;33(5):347-350. doi: 10.1177/0883073818756681. Epub 2018 Feb 16.

Neck-Tongue Syndrome: An Underrecognized Childhood Onset Cephalalgia.

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1 Department of Paediatrics, National University of Ireland Galway, & Galway University Hospital, Ireland.
2 Department of Pediatric Neurology, Evelina Children's Hospital, Guy's & St. Thomas' Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.
3 Randall Division for Cell and Molecular Biophysics, Muscle Signalling Section, London, UK.
4 Department of Basic and Clinical Neuroscience, IoPPN, King's College, London, UK.


Neck-tongue syndrome is a rarely reported headache disorder characterized by occipital and/or upper neck pain triggered by sudden rotatory head movement and accompanied by abnormal sensation and/or posture of the ipsilateral tongue. Although onset is thought to be in childhood, most of the limited number of cases reported so far were adults. Here the authors describe 3 cases, 2 girls and 1 boy, with neck-tongue syndrome. In each child additional headache symptoms occurred, headache improved over time in all, spontaneously in 2 and coinciding with gabapentin treatment in the other. Investigations were consistently unremarkable. Review of the literature reveals a usually self-limiting disorder, with early onset and variable additional features. Awareness of neck-tongue syndrome among pediatric neurologists and other practitioners is important, to allow for timely diagnosis and informed management of an underreported headache disorder with childhood onset.


cephalalgia; headache; pediatrics

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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