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  • April 26, 2021

Migraine is a highly prevalent and largely familial disorder. It is characterized by periodic, commonly unilateral, often pulsatile, or throbbing headaches that begin in childhood, adolescence, or early adult life. It recurs with diminishing frequency during advancing years.

  • The unilateral and the throbbing (pulsating) aspects of migraine are its most characteristic features, which help to distinguish it from other headache types.
  • Sensitivity to light, noise, and often smells noticed
  • Worsening of headache with movement of the head is common.
  • Few patients may experience vague premonitory changes in mood and appetite.

What is difference between classic and common migraine?

Migraine with aura is commonly termed as classic migraine while those without aura are referred to as common migraine.

In practice common migraine is more common (The ratio of classic to common migraine is 1:5.)

1) Classic Migraine (Migraine with aura):

In this type of migraine, patient experience

Start with a disturbance of nervous function, most often visual, followed in a few minutes to hours by hemicranial (or, in about one-third of cases, bilateral) headache, nausea. Sometimes vomiting may occur.

Last for hours to a day or more.

2) Common Migraine (Migraine without aura)

This type is characterized by occurrence without any warning features over minutes or longer of increasing hemicranial headache or, less often, by generalized headache. It may be associated with nausea and vomiting.

Last for hours to a day or more.

Does genetics play any role in having migraine?

The genetic does play role in occurrence of classic Migraine.

It is noted to have occurred in several members of the family of first and subsequent degree relatives in 60 to 80 percent of cases.

Patient of familial hemiplegic migraine, appear to be have monogenic disorders.

What age group is commonly affected in Migraine?

In 80 percent of patients onset of migraine is before 30 years of age. Though few patients may have it onset in childhood.

How much is Frequency of headache in migraine patients?

One-third of patients of migraine have more than three attacks per month. 50 percent patients require bed rest or experiences reduction of daily activities.

Commonly with increasing age, these patients experience reduction in the frequency of headaches. But some postmenopausal women may experience the worsening of headache possibility due to hormonal disturbances.

Factors associated with worsening of headache in migraine?

  • Alcohol, particularly red wine or port.
  • The use of birth control pills is associated with an increased frequency and severity of migraines.
  • Exposure to strong light/glare or other strong sensory stimuli
  • Pregnancy: Symptoms first appear during the first trimester of pregnancy. Migraine tends to cease during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy in 75 to 80 percent of women, and in others. 
  • Excess caffeine intake or withdrawal of caffeine.
  • Diet:  Few links increasing attack to chocolate, cheese, fatty foods, oranges, tomatoes, and onions—but these lacks scientific evidence.
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