Migraine is a syndrome characterized by recurrent headaches with or without aura that can include various combinations of neurologic, gastrointestinal, and autonomic changes.
Migraine headaches are experienced by persons of all races, cultures, and geographical locations. Migraine can not be diagnosed after a single episode. Migraine is by definition, recurrent, and symptoms must meet certain criteria to establish the diagnosis and to be classified according to type of migraine.
It is estimated that more than 23 million Americans - about 17% of women and 6% of men - experience migraine. Migraine is the most common cause of severe recurrent headache in children and one child in nine (10.6%) of school age children suffers from migraine. The annual financial burden to society is estimated to be in the range of $1 billion to $17 billion.
Treatment strategies for migraine fall into two broad categories: symptomatic (abortive) and preventive (prophylactic). The goals of treatment are to relieve pain and the associated symptoms and to optimize the person's ability to function normally.
Treatment strategies are based on the frequency, nature, and severity of attacks. Individualization of treatment is an important aspect of successful care. Symptom relief should include not only on the pain of the headache, but associated symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. The rare occurrence of intractable, acute migraine may require hospitalization and aggressive intravenous treatment.
The Medifocus Guide on Migraine Headaches provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:
What are the most common symptoms of migraine headaches?
Are there any recognized risk factors for developing migraine headaches?
What kinds of medical tests are used to establish the diagnosis of migraine headaches?
What is the current standard of care for the treatment of migraine headaches?
What treatment options are available for the management of migraine headaches?
Are there any promising new developments or potential breakthroughs in treatment?
Who are the most notable medical authorities who specialize in migraine headaches?
Where are the leading hospitals and centers of research for migraine headaches?
What are the most important questions to ask my doctor about migraine headaches?
What Your Doctor Reads:
This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:
Emergency department management of pediatric migraine. Pediatric Emergency Care. 2000
Migraine and headache in childhood and adolescence. Pediatric Clinics of North America. 2000
Are the triptans for migraine therapy worth the cost?. Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences. 2000
Molecular genetics of migraine headaches: a review. Cephalalgia. 2000
Caring for the woman with migraine headaches. Nurse Practitioner. 2000
Pediatric febrile seizures and childhood headaches in primary care. Nursing Clinics of North America. 2000
The relationship of migraine and stroke. Neuroepidemiology. 2000
Newer intranasal migraine medications. American Family Physician. 2000
Ergotamine in the acute treatment of migraine: a review and European consensus. Brain. 2000
Migraine: clinical features and diagnosis. Comprehensive Therapy. 1999
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