What is a migraine

It is a disease of the brain, for which this drug sometimes helps: https://pillintrip.com/medicine/apireks.

One in ten inhabitants of the planet suffers from migraine. Thousands of people visit doctors every day for this reason.

How do you recognize a migraine?

The symptoms of migraine are very easy to describe. A migraine is diagnosed if there have been five or more unprovoked attacks of intense headache with certain characteristics during a lifetime.

What is characteristic of a migraine headache?

A migraine headache lasts from 4 to 72 hours. It is accompanied by nausea or increased sensitivity to light and sound. The pain disrupts daily activities.

However, some attacks may be painless (there is a migraine aura without a headache, see below for what an aura is). Or they may be mild/moderate in pain intensity [5].

It is not necessary for the pain to be throbbing, pounding, or to hurt strictly half of the head, although these symptoms are also characteristic of migraine.

What is an aura?

In some people with migraine, an attack of pain is preceded by specific symptoms called an aura. These may be visual “special effects”: iridescent spots, streaks. There may be feelings of numbness, tingling in the hands and face. The main peculiarity of the aura: these sensations spread and pass in 5-60 minutes.

Aura occurs in only 20-25% of people suffering from migraines, and not during every attack. And there is the opposite: only migraine aura without a headache.

What is the cause of migraine?

For a long time it was believed that migraine is related to the blood vessels that feed the brain and other structures of the head. Scientists believed that aura is caused by narrowing (spasm) of the arteries and a disruption of the blood supply to certain areas of the brain. And the throbbing pain is caused by compensatory dilation of these and other vessels.

But how is it really?

Now we know for sure, at the heart of migraine is the increased excitability of the nerve cells (neurons) of the brain. How it arises is unknown exactly, but the hereditary factor [6] plays a large role. Migraine is often a hereditary disease, i.e., a feature of the brain device – the increased excitability of neurons – is passed down in the family.

How is hyperexcitability of nerve cells and migraine attacks related? The hyper-excitable neuron can be affected by various provocateurs: changes in hormonal background during the menstrual cycle, certain foods, stress, lack of sleep. The neuron activates and activates neighboring neurons, including those that normally conduct pain impulses from head structures [2]. Thus, pain occurs.

The mechanism is similar to the development of an epilepsy attack, although migraine and epilepsy are absolutely different in course and prognosis. But it is due to this mechanism that some drugs used to treat epilepsy are effective for the prevention of migraine attacks [4, 7]. However, by no means should it be assumed that migraine and epilepsy are one and the same! [3]

During an attack or constantly, if a person has chronic migraine (attacks are frequent or almost daily), the excited neurons have unstable electrical and biochemical activity. This changes the conduction of pain impulses. The pain becomes constant, other symptoms may occur: painfulness when touching the scalp, pain in the neck.

Treatment of migraine attacks and their prevention are aimed at stabilizing the excited neurons.