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(mī`grān), headache characterized by recurrent attacks of severe pain, usually on one side of the head. It may be preceded by flashes or spots before the eyes or a ringing in the ears, and accompanied by double vision, nausea, vomiting, or dizziness. The attacks vary in frequency from daily occurrences to one every few years.

Migraine affects women three times as often as men and is frequently inherited. Many disturbances, such as allergy, temporary swelling of the brain, and endocrine disturbances, have been suspected of causing some varieties of the disorder. Although the exact cause is unknown, evidence suggests a genetically transmitted functional disturbance of cranial circulation. The pain is believed to be associated with constriction followed by dilation of blood vessels leading to and within the brain.

Untreated attacks may last for many hours. Mild attacks are often relieved by common sedatives such as aspirin or codeine. Severe attacks may be treated with any of a variety of drugs, including a group called triptans, by injection or in the form of pills or nasal sprays. Certain beta-blockers, antiepileptic drugs, or tricyclic antidepressants may reduce the recurrence of migraines in some patients. Biofeedback is used in training people to recognize the warning symptoms and to practice control over the vascular dilation that initiates attacks.



(also hemicrania), a condition characterized by periodic headaches, usually localized in one half of the head. Women are most often affected by migraines, and in the majority of cases there is a hereditary tendency. The condition usually begins to manifest itself during puberty.

Migraines originate with changes in the tonus of intracranial and extracranial vessels. It is conjectured that first there is a spasm in the vessels and then a decrease in their tonus. As a result, the vessels dilatate abnormally. The headache attacks are accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and photophobia. Other symptoms include pallor or flushing, chilled hands and feet, weakness, shivering, and yawning. Patients usually complain of seeing bright flashes and zigzag lines; sometimes there is reduction or dimness of vision (ophthalmic migraine). Other symptoms are numbness of or tingling sensations in the extremities and, sometimes, the face and tongue. The symptomatic migraine is an indication of organic brain disease—for example, tumor, or vascular aneurysm.

Treatment entails normalization of vascular tonus, sedatives, and physical therapy.


Davidenkov, S. N., and A. M. Godinova. “K voprosu o nozologicheskikh granitsakh migrenei.” In Ocherki klinicheskoi nevrologii, fasc. 2. [Leningrad] 1964. [Collection of works.]



Recurrent paroxysmal vascular headache, commonly having unilateral onset and often associated with nausea and vomiting.


a throbbing headache usually affecting only one side of the head and commonly accompanied by nausea and visual disturbances
References in periodicals archive ?
But evidence also suggests that medication overuse can worsen abdominal migraine, she said.
1) Intravenous valproic acid was found to be effective in aborting abdominal migraine by Tan et al7, however, our patient did not respond to it.
Prevalence and clinical features of abdominal migraine compared with those of migraine headache.
Abdominal migraine is often overlooked as children are tested by any number of specialists with a series of exclusions or elimination of other organic causes.
Carson said no significant relationship was identified among those with abdominal migraine and those who had family histories of either abdominal pain or headache.
The Rome III abdominal pain category continues to include functional dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome, abdominal migraine, and FAP, but now also includes a new diagnosis, "functional abdominal pain syndrome" (FAPS) (Rasquin et al.
According to the IHS (2004), abdominal migraine is an idiopathic recurrent disorder of moderate to severe episodic midline abdominal pain occurring in children.
In the 1990s, he carried out a study in Aberdeen into the incidence of abdominal migraine in children.
There's approximately a 2% incidence of a syndrome of abdominal migraine and cyclic vomiting in school-age children, he estimated.
Carson, MD, the lead researcher of a study published earlier this year on this subject, "Given the spectrum of treatment modalities now available for pediatric migraine, increased awareness of cardinal features of abdominal migraine by pediatricians and pediatric gastroenterologists may result in improved diagnostic accuracy and early institution of both acute and preventative migraine-specific treatments.
Abdominal migraine is an idiopathic disorder characterized by moderate to severe midline abdominal pain lasting 1-72 hours associated with vasomotor symptoms, nausea, and vomiting.
It is difficult to "match" the abdominal symptoms typical of a migraine headache with the visceral pain equivalent of the abdominal migraine.