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Friday, January 28, 2011


Migraine is a debilitating condition characterized by moderate to severe headaches,and nausea,about 3 times more common in women than men.[1]The word migraine was borrowed from Old French migraigne(originally as "megrim,"but respelled in 1777 on a contemporary French model).The French term derived from a vulger pronunciation of the Late Latin word hemicrania,itself based on Greek hemikrania,from Greek roots for "half" and "skull."[2]The typical migraine headache is unilateral pain(affecting one half of the head)and pulsating in nature,lasting from 4 to 72 hours;symptoms include nausea,vomiting,photophobia(increased sensitivity to light),phonophobia(increased sensitivity to sound),and is aggravated by routine activity.[3][4]Approximately one-third of people who suffer from migraine headaches perceive an aura-unusual visual,olfactory,or other sensory experiences that are a sign that the migraine will soon occur.[5]Initial treatment is with analgesics for the headache,an antiemetic for the nausea,and the avoidance of triggering conditions.The cause of migraine headache is unknown;the most common theory is a disorder of the serotonergic control system.Studies of twins indicate a 60 to 65 percent genetic influence upon their propensity to develop migraine headache.[6][7]Moreover,fluctuating hormone levels indicate a migraine relation:75 percent of adult patients are women,although migraine affects approximately equal numbers of prepubescent boys and girls;propensity to migraine headache is known to disappear during pregnancy,although in some women migraines may become more frequent during pregnancy.

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