What is a Migraine?

Everyone, at least once in their life, has confronted with a very bad headache that often tended to reappear. It is a public health issue of strong impact on both the sufferer and society.

To clear your doubt, migraine is defined as a chronic neurological disorder characterized by repetitive mild to intense headaches, frequently in association with some neurological symptoms. It may appear only once every few years or several times a week. It can last between a couple of hours and three days. The pain generally begins in the first part of the day, on one half of the head. (Actually, the word “migraine” is borrowed from a Greek word that means “half-head.”) Rarely, the entire head is filled up with pain.

Associated symptoms might include vomiting, nausea, photophobia, sonophobia, or osmophobia. The pain usually gets worse by physical activity. More than one-third of people with migraine headaches sense an aura: a temporary visual, language, sensory or motor interference which indicates that the headache will soon appear. Sometimes an aura can come with brief or no headache succeeding it.

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Migraines are considered to be caused by a combination of environmental and inheritable factors. Modifying hormone levels might play a role too, as migraines have more slightly effect on boys than girls before pubescence, but about three times more on women than men. The threat of migraines usually diminishes during pregnancy. The precise mechanisms of migraine are unknown. It is, although, believed to be a neurovascular condition. The main theory is associated with the intensification regarding excitability of the cerebral cortex and irregular control of pain neurons within the trigeminal nucleus belonging to brainstem

Signs and symptoms

Migraines usually present with self-limited, repetitive severe headache in association with subjective symptoms. About 30% of people with migraines are facing with migraines accompanied by an aura and those who experience migraines with aura also regularly have migraines without aura. The seriousness of the pain, period of the headache, and recurrenceof attacks are variable. A migraine persisting longer than 72 hours is entitled status migrainosus. There exist four possible stages to a migraine, even though not all the phases are surely experienced:

The prodromal phase, which appears hours or days prior to the headache

The aura phase, which closely comes before the headache

The pain phase, known as well as headache phase

The postdrome phase, the effects experienced succeeding the end of a migraine strike.

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