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Migraines - a migraine is a severe headache that usually affects one side of the head and is often accompanied by other distressing symptoms.
What is migraine? Migraine is a severe headache, usually on one side,
often accompanied by nausea and vomiting and associated with finding light or
sound painful (photophobia and phonophobia). There are two types:
What are the symptoms of migraine? Both types of migraine may frequently
start with changes in mood and feelings of general hunger or particular food
What are the causes of migraine? The precise cause of migraine is unclear,
but changes in the size of blood vessels and the levels of neurotransmitter
substances (chemical messengers) in the brain are thought to be responsible.In particular, a drop in the levels of the brain chemical serotonin is believed
to be responsible for the dilatation (widening) of the blood vessels that causes
the throbbing headache.
What are the treatments for migraine? Migraine can't be cured but it can
be kept under control, limiting the number of attacks and/or their severity.
Treatments for migraines include painkillers, possibly combined with anti-sickness medication, or a group of medication called triptans or 5HT agonists which are not painkillers but work on changes in the brain chemical serotonin thought to be at the root of the blood vessel dilatation in migraine. Other drugs are also used in migraine, such as betablockers, neuromodulators and low dose anti-depressants. Some people find acupuncture, osteopathy, yoga or relaxation helps. The use of botulinium toxin injections has now been approved for treating chronic migraine. How the toxin works isn't fully clear but it's thought to affect the complex neurological pathways involved in migraine and it can be very successful, especially where other treatments have failed.
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