Did you know chronic migraine, a distinct and severe neurological disorder, is found to be three times more common in women than in men and affects 10 percent of people worldwide? At the Neuroscience Institute, we are able to characterize patients that experience this disorder by how often the have headaches (15 or more days per month) and how long they last (usually lasting four hours a day or longer). Approximately 80 percent of individuals whose symptoms closely correlate with the definition of a chronic migraine have not in fact received an accurate diagnosis, thus as a result may be unaware of their treatment options.
For a number of years, scientists were convinced that migraines stemmed from the dilation and constriction of blood vessels in the head. Investigators now believe that the disorder has a genetic cause.
What does it feel like to experience a Migraine?
Imagine one half of your head pulsating incessantly. Nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light and sound all follow the pain you are experiencing. If you have ever suffered from these symptoms, you undoubtedly were having a migraine. Depression and anxiety are also components of the condition. Migraines can be aggravated by routine activity and influenced by life stress, sleep habits, diet, and overuse of acute medications that relieve pain associated with symptoms of headache. Research has shown that approximately one-third of people perceive an aura before their migraine. An aura can be experienced in the form of a transient visual, sensory, language, or motor disturbance.
Types of Migraines
There are seven types of migraines a patient will experience. The two major ones include:
- Migraine without Aura (formerly called Common Migraine)
- Migraine with Aura (formerly called Classic or Complicated Migraine)
Other migraine types include:
- Migraine without headache
- Migraine with Brainstem Aura (formerly called Basilar-Type Migraine)
- Hemiplegic Migraine (a sub-type of Migraine with Aura)
- Retinal Migraine
- Chronic Migraine