Migraine Headaches, Vision Effects Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Migraine Headaches, Vision Effects article.

Abortive: Tending to cut short the course of a disease, as in abortive polio (polio cut sh...

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Acetaminophen: A nonaspirin pain reliever or analgesic. Acetaminophen may be given alone t...

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Amitriptyline: An antidepressant medication. In some patients with depression, abnormal l...

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Angiogram: An X-ray image of blood vessels. The vessels can be seen because a contrast dye...

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Anorexia: An eating disorder characterized by markedly reduced appetite or total aversion...

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Aphasia: Literally, no speech. Aphasia may also be used to describe defects in spoken expr...

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Arthritis: Inflammation of a joint. When joints are inflamed they can develop stiffness, w...

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Aspartame: A man-made sweetener with almost no calories used in place of sugar.

Aspirin: Once the Bayer trademark for acetylsalicylic acid, now the common name for this a...

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Aura: A sensation perceived by a patient that precedes a condition affecting the brain. An...

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Back pain: Pain felt in the low or upper back. Causes of pain in the low and upper back in...

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Bilateral: Affecting both sides. For example, bilateral arthritis affects joints on both t...

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Birth control: Birth control is the use of any practices, methods, or devices to prevent p...

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Blindness: Loss of useful sight. Blindness can be temporary or permanent. Damage to any p...

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Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is...

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Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It func...

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Brain hemorrhage: Bleeding within the brain. Brain hemorrhage is also known as cerebral he...

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Brain tumor: A benign or malignant growth in the brain. Primary brain tumors initially for...

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Caffeine: A stimulant compound found naturally in coffee, tea, cocoa (chocolate), and kola...

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Calcium: A mineral found mainly in the hard part of bones, where it is stored. Calcium is ...

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Cell: The basic structural and functional unit of any living thing. Each cell is a small c...

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Chronic: In medicine, lasting a long time. A chronic condition is one that lasts 3 months ...

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Computed tomography: An x-ray procedure that uses the help of a computer to produce a deta...

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Conjunctival: Pertaining to the conjunctiva, the clear moist membrane that covers the inne...

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Constipation: Infrequent and frequently incomplete bowel movements. Constipation is the op...

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Contraction: The tightening and shortening of a muscle.

CT scan: Computed tomography scan. Detailed images of internal organs are obtained by this...

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Depression: An illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and that affects the way...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Diarrhea: A common condition that involves unusually frequent and liquid bowel movements. ...

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Dopamine: An important neurotransmitter (messenger) in the brain.

Elavil: See: Amitriptyline.

Endoscopy: Examination of the inside of the body by using a lighted, flexible instrument c...

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Eyelid: The lid or cover of the eye, a movable fold of skin and muscle that can be closed ...

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Family history: The family structure and relationships within the family, including inform...

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Fatigue: A condition characterized by a lessened capacity for work and reduced efficiency ...

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Giant cell arteritis: A serious disease characterized by inflammation of the walls of the ...

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Glutamate: A form of glutamic acid. See: Glutamic acid.

Headache: A pain in the head with the pain being above the eyes or the ears, behind the he...

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Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Heart rate: The number of heartbeats per unit of time, usually per minute. The heart rate ...

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Hemiparesis: Weakness on one side of the body.

Hemorrhage: Bleeding or the abnormal flow of blood.

High blood pressure: A repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg. Chro...

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Hormone: A chemical substance produced in the body that controls and regulates the activit...

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Hormone therapy: Treatment of disease or symptoms with synthetic or naturally derived horm...

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Horner syndrome: A condition resulting from interruption of the sympathetic nerve pathways...

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Ibuprofen: A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is commonly used to treat pa...

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Imitrex: Brand name for sumatriptan, a triptan drug for the treatment of migraine.

Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, an...

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Inflammation: A localized reaction that produces redness, warmth, swelling, and pain as a ...

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Laboratory: A place for doing tests and research procedures, and for preparing chemicals a...

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Lethargy: Abnormal drowsiness, stupor.

Lumbar: Referring to the five lumbar vertebrae, the disks below them, and the correspondin...

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Lumbar puncture: A procedure in which cerebrospinal fluid is removed from the spinal canal...

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Magnetic resonance imaging: A procedure that uses magnetism, radio waves, and a computer t...

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Meningitis: Inflammation of the meninges, the three membranes that envelop the brain and t...

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Menstrual: Pertaining to menstruation (the menses), as in last menstrual period, menstrua...

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Menstrual cramps: Cramping in the lower abdomen, usually in the first or second day of the...

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Menstruation: The periodic blood that flows as a discharge from the uterus. Also called me...

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Metabolic: Relating to metabolism, the whole range of biochemical processes that occur wit...

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Migraine: Usually, periodic attacks of headaches on one or both sides of the head. These ...

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Migraine aura: A sensory phenomenon that may occur before a migraine. Visual auras may inc...

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Migraine headache: The most common type of vascular headache involving abnormal sensitivit...

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Migraine without aura: See: Common migraine.

Migraineur: A person who has migraine headache. Borrowed from the French.

Monosodium glutamate: MSG, a sodium salt of the amino acid glutamic acid that enhances the...

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Morphine: A powerful narcotic agent that has strong analgesic (pain relief) action and oth...

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Motion sickness: A disorder of the sense of balance and equilibrium and, hence, the sense ...

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Motor: Something that produces or refers to motion. For example, a motor neuron is a nerve...

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Muscle: Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. T...

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Naprelan: See: Naproxen.

Narcotic: 1. A drug that causes insensibility or stupor. A narcotic induces narcosi...

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Nasal: Having to do with the nose.

Nausea: Stomach queasiness, the urge to vomit. Nausea can be brought on by many causes, in...

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Neck: The part of the body joining the head to the shoulders. Also, any narrow or constric...

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Neurological: Having to do with the nerves or the nervous system as, for example, a neurol...

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Neurology: The medical specialty concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders o...

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Ocular: Having to do with the eye.

Onset: In medicine, the first appearance of the signs or symptoms of an illness as, for ex...

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Ovulation: The release of the ripe egg (ovum) from the ovary. The egg is released when the...

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Oxycodone: Oxycodone is the active ingredient in OxyContin. Oxycodone is an opioid, a clos...

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OxyContin: A prescription painkiller that has become a popular and dangerous recreational ...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Photophobia: Painful oversensitivity to light. For example, photophobia is often seen in m...

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Polyuria: The excessive passage of urine (at least 2.5 liters per day for an adult) result...

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Pregnancy: The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. Thi...

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Prognosis: The forecast of the probable outcome or course of a disease; the patient's chan...

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Puberty: Adolescence, the period in which the human body first becomes capable of reproduc...

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Pupil: The opening of the iris. The pupil may appear to open (dilate) and close (constrict...

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Rule out: Term used in medicine, meaning to eliminate or exclude something from considera...

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Saccharin: An artificial sweetener which diluted in water is 200-700 times sweeter than th...

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Scan: As a noun, the data or image obtained from the examination of organs or regions of...

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Sensation: In medicine and physiology, sensation refers to the registration of an incoming...

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Sensitivity: 1. In psychology, the quality of being sensitive. As, for example, sen...

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Serotonin: A neurotransmitter that is involved in the transmission of nerve impulses. Sero...

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Sleep: The body's rest cycle.

Spinal cord: The major column of nerve tissue that is connected to the brain and lies with...

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Spinal tap: Also known as a lumbar puncture or "LP", a spinal tap is a procedure whereby ...

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Stress: In a medical or biological context stress is a physical, mental, or emotional fact...

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Stroke: The sudden death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen, caused by blockage of blood...

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Sumatriptan: A triptan drug for the treatment of migraine. Marketed under the brand name I...

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Syndrome: A combination of symptoms and signs that together represent a disease process.

Temple: The area just behind and to the side of the forehead and the eye, above the side o...

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Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment.

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Tomography: The process for generating a tomogram, a two-dimensional image of a slice or s...

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Trauma: A physical or emotional injury.

Trigger: Something that either sets off a disease in people who are genetically predispose...

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Triptan: A class of drugs introduced in the 1990s for the treatment of migraine that act a...

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Tumor: An abnormal mass of tissue. Tumors are a classic sign of inflammation, and can be ...

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Tunnel vision: Loss of peripheral vision with retention of central vision, resulting in a ...

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Tylenol: See: Acetaminophen.

Vasodilators: Agents that act as blood vessel dilators (vasodilators) and open vessels by ...

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Visual field: The entire area that can be seen when the eye is directed forward, including...

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X-ray: High-energy radiation with waves shorter than those of visible light. X-ray is used...

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Yogurt: A dairy product made by fermented milk with one or more bacterial cultures. It has...

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Zolmitriptan: A triptan drug for the treatment of migraine. Marketed under the brand name ...

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Zomig: Brand name for zolmitriptan, a triptan drug for the treatment of migraine.

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