Encyclopedia > Migraine

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Migraine is a neurologic disease characterized by attacks of sharp pain involving (usually) one half of the skull and accompanied by nausea, vomiting, photophobia and occasionally visual (or rarely other disturbances) aura. It is caused by the constriction of the blood vessels of the head and neck. Classical migraine (migraine with aura) is forerun by a group of symptoms called aura, whereas common migraine does not have any indicator for the impending headache. Migraine can accompany, in some cases, another vascular headache called tension headache. Migraine often runs in families and starts in adolescence. It most commonly occurs in women and between ages 15-45. Some of the medications that may relieve the headache are non-steroid analgesics, caffeine and ergot[?] derivatives. For cases with frequent, intractable and severe symptoms, such preventive and prophylactic medications as propranolol and amitriptyline[?] may be used. Any factors that may trigger the migraine headache should be avoided. Resting in a dark and silent room may be more helpful than any other medication for many patients. Recently 5-hydroxytryptamine[?] receptor agonists were developed for effective migraine treatment. Some members of this family of drugs are

The human side of migraine has been expertly captured in the book of the same name by Oliver Sacks

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