Harry Potter Has Migraine Headaches?
Experts Diagnose Harry Potter With 'Probable Migraine'
WebMD News Archive
June 29, 2007 -- Harry Potter, the fictional character known worldwide from
author J.K. Rowling's books and the Harry Potter movies, likely has migraine headaches.
That diagnosis comes from Fred Sheftell, MD, and colleagues. Sheftell works
in Stamford, Conn., at the New England Center for Headache.
Sheftell's team scrutinized all of J.K. Rowling's published Harry Potter
books, looking for references to Potter's headaches.
Harry Potter's migraine headaches happen when the evil Lord Voldemort is
nearby, and they strike in the area of Potter's head where he has a scar in the
shape of a lightning bolt, note Sheftell and colleagues.
After considering several headache diagnoses, Sheftell's team settled on the
diagnosis of "probable migraine." Why "probable"? Because
Potter's headaches disappear faster than typical migraines, note the
Harry Potter's Headaches
Sheftell and colleagues aren't trying to make light of migraine headaches.
Instead, they're using Potter's case to build awareness of migraines and other
"That even a young male Wizard has recurrent disabling headache is a
reflection of the wider problem of headache in children and adolescents,"
the researchers write.
Is their diagnosis correct? The researchers note that migraines may be
passed down genetically, but little is known about Potter's birth parents.
Headaches can also be connected to other illnesses, but so far as Sheftell's
team knows, Potter is otherwise healthy.
Of course, all that may change when the final Harry Potter book is published
later this month. Meanwhile, the details of Potter's diagnosis appear in
Headache, the journal of the American Headache Society.