Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Migraines may be the brain's way of dealing with oxidative stress

A new perspective article highlights a compelling theory about migraine attacks: that they are an integrated mechanism by which the brain protects and repairs itself. Recent insightful findings and potential ways to use them ...

Health

Exercise just as good as drugs at preventing migraines: study

Although exercise is often prescribed as a treatment for migraine, there has not previously been sufficient scientific evidence that it really works. However, research from the Sahlgrenska Academy has now shown that exercise ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

New, long-acting drugs cut frequency of migraine headaches

New, long-acting drugs may hold hope for millions of people who often suffer migraines. Studies of two of these medicines, given as shots every month or so, found they cut the frequency of the notoriously painful and disabling ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Migraine patients can now try three new drugs for prevention

Until this year, migraine sufferers had to make do with drugs originally developed for other medical conditions, such as high blood pressure or depression. Now, there are three new drugs that were developed just for preventing ...

Neuroscience

Genetic malfunction of brain astrocytes triggers migraine

Neuroscientists of the University of Zurich shed a new light on the mechanisms responsible for familial migraine: They show that a genetic dysfunction in specific brain cells of the cingulate cortex area strongly influences ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Neuropeptide may be real cause of migraines

A pair of researchers, one with New York University College of Dentistry in New York, the other with King's College in the U.K. has found that a neuropeptide may be responsible for the onset of migraines. In their paper published ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

FDA approves first drug aimed at preventing migraines

(HealthDay)—The millions of Americans who suffer from migraine may have a new source of hope—the first drug aimed at preventing the headaches gained U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval on Thursday.

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Migraine

Migraine is a neurological syndrome characterized by altered bodily perceptions, headaches, and nausea. Physiologically, the migraine headache is a neurological condition more common to women than to men. The word migraine was borrowed from Old French migraigne (originally as "megrim", but respelled in 1777 on a contemporary French model). The French term derived from a vulgar pronunciation of the Late Latin word hemicrania, itself based on Greek hemikrania, from Greek roots for "half" and "skull". The typical migraine headache is unilateral and pulsating, lasting from 4 to 72 hours; symptoms include nausea, vomiting, photophobia (increased sensitivity to bright light), and hyperacusis (increased sensitivity to sound); approximately one third of people who suffer migraine headache perceive an aura — unusual visual, olfactory, or other sensory experiences that are a sign that the migraine will soon occur.

Initial treatment is with analgesics for the head-ache, an anti-emetic for the nausea, and the avoidance of triggering conditions. The cause of migraine headache is idiopathic; the accepted theory is a disorder of the serotonergic control system, as PET scan has demonstrated the aura coincides with diffusion of cortical depression consequent to increased blood flow (up to 300% greater than baseline). There are migraine headache variants, some originate in the brainstem (featuring intercellular transport dysfunction of calcium and potassium ions) and some are genetically disposed. Studies of twins indicate a 60 to 65 percent genetic influence upon their propensity to develop migraine headache. Moreover, fluctuating hormone levels indicate a migraine relation: 75 percent of adult patients are women, although migraine affects approximately equal numbers of prepubescent boys and girls; propensity to migraine headache is known to disappear during pregnancy, although in some women migraines may become more frequent during pregnancy.[citation needed]

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