Complex migraine (complicated migraine)

Head | Neurology | Complex migraine (complicated migraine) (Disease)


Migraine is a medical condition. Most of the people who suffer from migraines get headaches that can be quite severe. A migraine headache is usually an intense, throbbing pain on one, or sometimes, both sides of the head. In most cases of patients with migraine headache feel the pain in the temples or behind one eye or ear, although any part of the head can be involved. Besides pain, migraine also can cause nausea and vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound. Some people also may see spots or flashing lights or have a temporary loss of vision. Less common symptoms that occur with a migraine headache include difficulty speaking, dizziness, fatigue, muscle aches, or numbness and tingling.

A person with migraine headaches has recurrent, severe headaches that last for more than four hours. The exact cause of a migraine headache is unknown. About 18 percent of females and 6 percent of males suffer from migraine headaches. Usually, treatment with medications greatly reduces the frequency and severity of headaches.

The migraines are brief, recurrent, episodic disorders that are intensified by movement and are relieved by deep sleep or typical migraine medications. Complicated and variant migraines have some of the same symptoms as typical migraines, including pain, GI syndromes, autonomic symptoms, neurologic symptoms, and changes in mood or emotion.

Causes and Risk factors

Although much about the cause of migraines isnt understood, genetics and environmental factors seem to both play a role.

Migraines may be caused by changes in the brainstem and its interactions with the trigeminal nerve, a major pain pathway. Imbalances in brain chemicals, including serotonin — which helps regulate pain in your nervous system — also may be involved.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Treatment for a migraine headache includes rest, cold compresses, medication, and scalp massage. Medications for migraine headaches may reduce the pain during a migraine, help avoid an oncoming migraine, or reduce the frequency of migraine headaches.

There are two ways to approach the treatment of migraines with drugs: stopping a migraine in progress and the second one prevention. Many people with migraine use both forms of treatment. Most acute drugs for migraine work best when taken right away, when symptoms first begin. ...

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