Migraine: Overview

Migraine refers to a chronic headache condition, which usually recurs over time. Migraines vary with people, ranging from a headache-like event to an extremely debilitating headache (e.g. nausea, vomiting, the need to avoid light and movement, and other symptoms). Migraine may occur with or without an “aura”, which is a set of symptoms that occur prior to the headache (e.g. visual symptoms, sensory or tingling symptoms, etc.). Migraine is believed to be caused by blood flow changes in the brain, and can be triggered by everyday things such as: stress, emotion, menstruation, and some foods. Diagnosis of migraine is inherently difficult, there is no definitive test, and diagnosis is by exclusion of other possible causes. There are many other possible causes of headache, and there are other neurological conditions that must be considered. For example, epilepsy and migraine are associated, they can mimic one another, and can also occur together. Strangely, a migraine can actually occur without a headache, which is called an amigrainous migraine.

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