Jennifer F. Wilson
Wilson JF. Migraine. Ann Intern Med. 2007;147:ITC11-1. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-147-9-200711060-01011
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2007;147(9):ITC11-1.
Editor's Note: This issue of In the Clinic has been updated.
Migraine headache affects 18% of women and 6% of men. Three quarters of migraine sufferers have moderate-to-severe symptoms that interfere with work, school, and other normal daily activities. Despite being a significant cause of episodic but disabling symptoms, the condition remains underrecognized, underdiagnosed, and undertreated. Migraine pain was previously believed to be largely vascular in cause, but evidence now shows that it involves genetic control of the activity of some brain cells. It is hypothesized that migraine activity begins in the brainstem and ends with distention and inflammation of meningeal vessels. These events cause an instability in brain cells that triggers surges of abnormal impulses to the periphery and releases inflammatory substances. Although migraines can be highly disruptive to daily life, effective behavioral and drug treatments can prevent attacks or relieve symptoms.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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