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Migraine Headache FAQs

What are migraine headaches?

Migraines are disabling headaches that most likely stem from problems with the nerves and blood vessels in the head. Migraine headaches typically last from 4-72 hours. They may occur as often as several times a week to only once a year. People who have migraines are called migraineurs.

Migraine headaches affect about 15% of the population. Three times as many women as men have migraines. Over 80% of migraineurs have family members who have migraines. The following types of migraine headache have been identified:

  • Migraine without aura (common migraine): This type accounts for 80% of migraine headaches. There is no aura before a common migraine.

  • Migraine with aura (classic migraine): This type is usually preceded by an aura and is usually much worse than a common migraine.Most often, an aura is a visual disturbance (outlines of lights or jagged light images).

  • Status migrainosus: This is the term used to describe a long-lasting migraine that does not go away by itself.

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Migraine Headache »

Although migraine is a term applied to certain headaches with a vascular quality, overwhelming evidence suggests that migraine is a dominantly inherited disorder characterized by varying degrees of recurrent vascular-quality headache, photophobia, sleep disruption, and depression. border=

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