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Migraines

The third most prevalent illness in the world

Nearly 25% of U.S. Households affected

A migraine is a severe headache that can cause significant pain for hours to days and is often disabling, so that the person is unable to function normally. Along with the pain, the person typically also experiences nausea and sensitivity to light and sound, often requiring them to take to their bed in total darkness. Migraines usually begin in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood. Migraine is very common – it’s the third most prevalent illness in the world, affecting nearly one fourth of U.S. households. The frequency of migraines varies from person to person: some people have attacks several times per month, while others might have just one per year or less. Though anyone can get migraines, they are particularly common among women during their reproductive years and tend to strike between ages 15 and 55.

Causes

Experts used to think that migraines were caused by the opening and narrowing of blood vessels in the brain. Today, though the causes are still not fully understood, genetics and environmental factors are thought to play a strong role. Specifically, migraines may be caused by changes in the brainstem and the way it interacts with certain nerves that control pain, and these changes may be inherited. Brain chemical imbalances may also be a factor, especially those involving the chemical serotonin which helps regulate pain.

Migraines may also be triggered by hormone fluctuations (in women), certain foods like cheese and processed items, food additives like MSG and aspartame, alcohol and caffeine, stress, bright light, strong odors like cigarette smoke or perfume, changes in sleep habits, excessive exercise, weather changes and certain medications including birth control pills and vasodilators.

 

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

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Yoga Could Help Cut Your Migraine Medication Use By Half, Research Shows

May 22/Karyn Repinski
A new study finds that yoga can reduce migraine intensity, frequency, and the amount of medication needed to be taken.
READ MORE
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Migraine Home Remedies That Headache Specialists Approve

May 08/Susan Jara
These at-home measures, along with followed your medication regimen, can help keep migraine attacks at bay, even while you’re under increased stress from the coronavirus pandemic.
READ MORE
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Botox for Migraine During COVID-19: What If You Can’t Get Botox to Prevent Migraine Attacks?

Apr 15/Karyn Repinski
The coronavirus pandemic has left migraine patients and providers scrambling to find solutions to maintain health that, for many people, may have taken years to achieve.
READ MORE

Roughly 40 percent of chronic migraine patients suffer from an additional four chronic conditions, says Dr. Thorpe, who recently authored the paper “Prevalence, Health Care Spending and Comorbidities Associated with Chronic Migraine Patients.”

Click here to read more

 

VIDEOS

Learn more about migraines and the impact they can have on a person's quality of life.

ARTICLES & PRESS RELEASES

May 22

Yoga Could Help Cut Your Migraine Medication Use By Half, Research Shows

/ Migraine

A new study finds that yoga can reduce migraine intensity, frequency, and the amount of medication needed to be taken.

⇀ READ MORE
May 08

Migraine Home Remedies That Headache Specialists Approve

/ Coronavirus COVID-19 Migraine

These at-home measures, along with followed your medication regimen, can help keep migraine attacks at bay, even while you’re under increased stress from the coronavirus pandemic.

⇀ READ MORE
Apr 15

Botox for Migraine During COVID-19: What If You Can’t Get Botox to Prevent Migraine Attacks?

/ Coronavirus COVID-19 Migraine

The coronavirus pandemic has left migraine patients and providers scrambling to find solutions to maintain health that, for many people, may have taken years to achieve.

⇀ READ MORE
Aug 13

Going to the Emergency Room for Migraine: How to Advocate for Better Care

/ Migraine

No one wants to seek emergency care for a migraine attack. These tips can help ensure you get the treatment you need. Going to the emergency room or to an urgent care center in the middle of an excruciating migraine attack is one of the last things people living with migraine want to do. Being […]

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Dec 03

Is It a Migraine or a Stroke? Getting It Wrong Happens in 18% of Cases, Says New Study

/ Migraine

It’s easy to mistake migraine with aura for stroke, especially when you don’t get migraine attacks regularly. When someone is having a stroke, time is of the essence. If it’s an ischemic stroke — the most common kind, which is caused by a clot blocking blood flow to the brain — you need a drug […]

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