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migraine (mīˈgrān), 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.

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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.]


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Recurrent paroxysmal vascular headache, commonly having unilateral onset and often associated with nausea and vomiting.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


a throbbing headache usually affecting only one side of the head and commonly accompanied by nausea and visual disturbances
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
(v) In case of comorbidity, betahistine can be used in association either with antimigraine (86%) or anxiolytic and/or antidepressant (93%) drugs;
Frediani, "Central mechanism of action of antimigraine prophylactic drugs," Neurological Sciences, vol.
Ribavirin (antiviral) [20] rizatriptan (antimigraine) [21], posaconazole, fluconazole, and Itraconazole [22, 23] are efficient antifungal drugs currently used in the treatment of fungal infection.
Hence the developed formulations can be used to support antimigraine therapy.
(algodoeiro) seeds are reported to have antioxidant activity, antidiarrheic, wound healing, antimigraine, diuretic and dismenorrhea (Narasimha et al., 2008).
Thus, several potent drugs possessing triazole nucleus have been applied in medicine, like, Alprazolam (anxiolytic agent and tranquilizer), Anastrozole, Letrozole, Vorozole (antineoplastics and nonsteroidal competitive aromatase inhibitors), Estazolam (hypnotic, sedative and tranquilizer), Etoperidone (antidepressant), Fluconazole, Itraconazole, Terconazole (antifungal agents), Ribavirin (antiviral agent), Benatradin (diuretic), Rilmazafon (hypnotic, anxiolytic and used in the case of neurotic insomnia), Nefazodone (antidepressant and 5-HT2 A-antagonist), Rizatriptan (antimigraine agent), Trapidil (hypotensive), Trazodone (antidepressant, anxiolytic and selectively inhibits central serotonin uptake) and Triazolam (sedative and hypnotic) [18].
Pharmacological studies of the aqueous extract of Sapindus trifoliatus on central nervous system: possible antimigraine mechanisms.
Many adults with chronic migraine or refractory migraine began their disease with episodic migraine in childhood or adolescence that was often not treated with targeted, specific antimigraine therapy.
It's important to remember that the antimigraine triptan medications are contraindicated in patients who have uncontrolled hypertension or significant vascular risk, Dr.
The erosion rate is controllable, and there is no residue to remove and so far has shown promise for the administration of pain medications, antiemetics, and antimigraine drugs (Clinical Trials, 2008, February).
([double dagger]) Other pain relievers includes narcotic analgesics (e.g., Percocet[R]), salycylate analgesics (e.g., aspirin), nonsalicylate, nonnarcotic analgesics (e.g., acetaminophen), antimigraine drugs (e.g., Imitrex[R]), other medications indicated for rheumatoid arthritis (Enbrel[R], Humira[R]).
The guide includes a new chapter on neuropsychiatric disorders and new information on antimigraine medications.