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What is Migraine?

Migraine is one of the most common causes of headache.

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*This article has a 4 minute 32 second read time.

Migraine is one of the most common causes of headache. The prevalence in Caucasians is 4-8% in men and 13-18% in women. Both genetic factors and environmental factors are responsible for the development of migraine. Migraine is a type of headache that can affect the patient's daily life and lead to loss of labor force. Migraine pain is usually in the form of headache that effects half side of the head and is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light.

How Can We Recognize a Migraine?

Migraine is a clinical diagnosis. This type of headache is a one and half sided, throbbing and lasts 4 to 72 hours. It increases with movement and is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, light and sound sensitivity. If all this reduces or prevents you from continuing your daily life, it is likely to be a migraine headache.

How Many Stages Does Migraine Have?

Migraine usually consists of 4 stages: prodrome, aura, headache and recovery. In the prodrome phase, patients have psychological, neurological or autonomic features that occur suddenly in their mood or behavior in the hours or days before the headache. Migraine attacks can be divided into two main categories: with and without aura. Migraine patients with aura may experience "aura" attacks ranging from 5 minutes to 60 minutes before the headache attacks. Bright flashes of light before the attack or visual disturbances, numbness, tingling and slurred speech are common aura symptoms. Migraine attacks without aura consist of headache and pain accompanied by nausea, vomiting, light and sound sensitivity without these symptoms.

What are the Factors that Trigger Migraine?

Stress, changes in sleep patterns, hunger, smoking, heavy and pungent odors, chocolate, alcoholic beverages, weather change and hormonal changes during menstruation are reported as the main factors that trigger migraine. Recognizing and avoiding triggering factors can significantly reduce the severity or frequency of attacks.

How is Chronic Migraine Diagnosed?

Chronic migraine is diagnosed when the patient has headache more than 15 days a month for 3 months and the pain meets the diagnostic criteria for migraine on at least 8 days of the month and does not respond to specific treatments for migraine. Chronic migraine is estimated to occur in 1-3% of the population and in more than 10% of all migraineurs. In patients with chronic migraine, severe loss of labor force due to frequent headaches, excessive use of analgesic drugs and significant deterioration in quality of life accompany the picture.

How Does Migraine Go Away?

Migraine is a type of headache based on genetic factors. Environmental factors also effect it. Migraine is not curable but it can be treated. Since it is possible to prevent attacks or headache, it gives satisfactory results in treatment, so the pain passes but migraine does not pass. Attacks may reappear during stressful periods or in different processes of life.

How is Chronic Migraine Treated?

There are three types of treatment approaches in chronic migraine; behavioral treatments, pharmacological treatments, interventional procedures. Behavioral treatments include taking measures such as regulating sleep and vital activities and avoiding pain triggers. Pharmacologic treatments are applying of prophylactic drug therapy to be administered according to the patient's comorbid diseases, pain frequency, and whether there is a history of drug overuse. While most patients benefit from medical treatments, lifestyle changes and behavioral treatment methods, interventional methods have stand out in recent years in patients who do not benefit from these treatments. These methods include Botulinum toxin (BoNT) therapy and peripheral nerve blockade applications.

How is Migraine Botox Applied?

In recent years, in addition to all drug treatments, Botulinum toxin (BoNT) treatment has started to be applied in the treatment of chronic migraine.  The effectiveness of botulinum toxin application has been proven by many scientific studies. It has very promising results in patients with treatment-resistant chronic migraine.  In botulinum toxin treatment; intramuscular injection of toxin is performed in muscle groups in 7 different regions which includes forehead, temple and nape area, a total of 31 points. The treatment is planned individually and there are at least 2 treatment periods within every a 12-week.

Written by the Editorial Board of Reçete.

* Based on the number of words that OECD countries' university graduates can read per minute