Pediatric Headache Program

Pediatric headaches and migraines are common complaints among children, requiring special attention. Migraines are a particularly burdensome headache disorder, affecting about 8% of children and up to 15% of adolescents. At the Pediatric Headache Program at Lurie Children’s, we aim to find the most therapeutic and comprehensive treatment plan to fit every headache patient’s individual needs.

The Lurie Children's Difference

Pediatric headaches and migraines can be debilitating for some, requiring a comprehensive and patient-based approach to treatment. At the Lurie Children’s Pediatric Headache Program, we take time to consider each individual patient and the possible contributing factors to their headache. We have an integrative approach to offer individualized treatment plans including headache lifestyle counseling, herbal supplements, evidence-based medications, cognitive behavioral therapy, and if applicable, pain reduction procedures. We work closely with our headache psychologist, Dr. Laurie Thompson, to help address lifestyle factors, coping mechanisms and other underlying stressors that contribute to headaches. We are involved in cutting-edge clinical research trials for new pediatric migraine treatments.

For appropriate patients, we offer a headache procedure clinic as an adjunctive headache treatment. These procedures include lidocaine nerve blocks, sphenopalatine ganglion blocks, trigger point injections and Botox ® injections for chronic migraine.

Additionally, our Ambulatory Infusion Center (AIC) is available for IV treatment for severe migraine attacks, during business hours for appropriate patients. The AIC can serve as an alternative to an Emergency Department visit for severe migraine attacks, decreasing wait time and improving access to treatment. Finally, for the most severe migraine attacks, we offer inpatient hospitalization infusions as an aggressive treatment approach.  

Conditions We Treat

  • Migraine with aura
  • Migraines without aura 
  • Atypical migraine
  • Abdominal migraine
  • Benign paroxysmal vertigo of childhood
  • Cluster headache
  • Cyclic vomiting syndrome
  • Hemicrania continua
  • Hemiplegic migraine
  • Idiopathic intracranial hypertension/Pseudotumor cerebri
  • Medication overuse headache
  • New daily persistent headache
  • Occipital neuralgia
  • Paroxysmal hemicrania
  • Post-concussive headache
  • Short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache with autonomic symptoms (SUNA)
  • Short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache attacks with conjunctival injection and tearing (SUNCT)
  • Supraorbital neuralgia
  • Tension-type headache
  • Trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia
  • Trigeminal neuralgia

Our Specialists

Alma Bicknese, MD

Director, Headache Program

Anisa F. Kelley, MD

Associate Director, Headache Program

Leon G. Epstein, MD

Division Head, Neurology

Laurie G. Thompson, PhD

Headache Psychologist

Lauren S. Baidoo, APRN, FNP

Family Nurse Practitioner, Neurology

Darlene Leung, APRN-NP

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Neurology

Leslie Sondeen-Opila, APRN, NP

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Neurology

Danielle Trokey, APRN-NP, FNP

Family Nurse Practitioner, Neurology

What to Expect

During your visit, your child will be evaluated at one of our outpatient locations. Our headache specialists are available at our Outpatient Center in Lincoln Park, Outpatient Center in Skokie, Outpatient Center in New Lenox and Outpatient Center in Arlington Heights
Additional testing and consultation may be arranged depending on your child’s condition. These tests or consultations may include:

Make An Appointment

To make an appointment with one of our specialists:

Make an Appointment Online

Call 1.800.KIDS DOC


View the following physician-recommended resources for more information: 

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