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Anne Frank’s headaches

Posted Oct 25 2007 12:00am

“Anne Frank’s headache” is the title of an article just published by RF de Almeida and PA Kowacs in the journal Cephalalgia.  This is an abstract of the article: “There are a significant number of famous people who suffered from frequent headaches during their lifetime while also exerting an influence of some kind on politics or the course of history. One such person was Anneliese Marie Frank, the German-born Jewish teenager better known as Anne Frank, who was forced into hiding during World War II. When she turned 13, she received a diary as a present, named it ‘Kitty’ and started to record her experiences and feelings. She kept the diary during her period in hiding, describing her daily life, including the feeling of isolation, her fear of being discovered, her admiration for her father and her opinion about women’s role in society, as well as the discovery of her own sexuality. She sometimes reported a headache that disturbed her tremendously. The ‘bad’ to ‘terrifying’ and ‘pounding’ headache attacks, which were accompanied by vomiting and during which she felt like screaming to be left alone, matched the International Headache Society criteria for probable migraine, whereas the ‘more frequent headaches’ described by Anne’s father are more likely to have been tension-type headaches than headaches secondary to ocular or other disorders.”

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