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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 ?
Among TACs, SUNCT should be discriminated from cluster headache, paroxysmal hemicranias [13], and trigeminal neuralgia [4].
KEY WORDS: Paroxysmal Hemicrania, Trigeminal Autonomic Cephalgias, Indomethacin, Lamotrigine.
Among the closest pathologies, paroxysmal hemicrania, SUNCT syndrome and neurovascular variants must be discarded because of the similar vegetative symptoms so presented; however, the sudden appearance, localization, intensity, and paroxistic presentation of these pathologies make the difference.
Hemicrania continua, once considered rare, is in fact more common than cluster headache.
A variety of headache disorders result in nocturnal headache: migraine, cluster headache, chronic paroxysmal hemicrania, and hypnic headache.
The term "migraine" is French and is derived from the Greek word hemicrania, which means: a.
Kume basagrisi, paroksismal hemicrania (PH) ve SUNCT (short-lasting unilateral headache attacks with conjunctival injection and tearing) ataklar ile seyrederken; hemicrania continua (HC) kesintisiz kronik bir basagrisi zemininde ortaya cikan siddetli ataklar ile karakterizedir.
TABLE 1 Comparison of headache features PAROXYSMAL FEATURE CLUSTER MIGRAINE HEMICPANIA Duration 15-180 min 4-72 hrs 2-30 min Autonomic Yes Unusual Yes dysfunction Pain quality Sharp, boring Often pulsatile Stabbing or pulsatile Severity Severe Mod-severe Severe Frequency Predictable Varies >5/day Laterality Unilateral Varies Unilateral Response to Not usually Not usually Always Indomethacin HEMICRANIA FEATURE SUNCT * CONTINUA Duration 5-240 sec Continuous Autonomic Yes Sometimes dysfunction Pain quality Stabbing or Stabbing or pulsatile pulsatile Severity Severe Mod-severe Frequency 3-200/day Continuous Laterality Unilateral Unilateral Response to Always Always Indomethacin *SUNCT short-lasting neuralgiform headache attacks with conjunctival injection and tearing.
Four headache subtypes included in the chronic daily headache definition are chronic (transformed) migraine, chronic tension-type headache, new daily persistent headache, and hemicrania continua.
Next, look for autonomic features that point to one of the three trigeminal autonomic cephalgias: cluster headache, paroxysmal hemicrania, and short-lasting, unilateral, neuralgiform headache with conjunctival injection and tearing (SUNCT).