Benign Paroxysmal Vertigo of Childhood

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This is the most common of the migraine equivalents (116). Although affected preschool children are often referred to as having epilepsy, the characteristic history of anxious arrest of movement without loss of awareness and subjective vertigo or "drunking" makes the diagnosis easy. A related migraine equivalent, benign paroxysmal torticollis of infancy, has been discussed under Paroxysmal Disorders of Movement.

Case study #7. A 2-year-old girl had a 6-month history of episodes in which she had been dizzy, unsteady, and pale. There was no definite precipitation. She would say "Oh mummy dizzy dizzy dizzy" or "fright" and stand and cling onto her mother. At the same time something happened to her eyes. Her mother could not mime the speed of the eye movements, but recognized them as nystagmus after the child had been spun in a rotating chair (an alternative trigger would have been to elicit optokinetic nystagmus with a tape measure or drum).

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