Migraines Overview

Long-term Migraine Effects
Is a cure for migraines on the horizon? Researchers are doing all they can to make it a reality.
Is a cure for migraines on the horizon? Researchers are doing all they can to make it a reality.
©iStockphoto/Konstantin Sutyagin

Migraine is a debilitating condition that costs billions of dollars a year in healthcare fees, sick days and poor performance. It can change throughout your life depending on your stress levels, your hormone levels, your age and your triggers, which can also change.

Doctors often diagnose migraines based on ruling out other problems, like heart and other brain issues. Migraine sufferers should know, though, that constant scientific research is being done to understand more about the disease. What has come to light, however, is that migraine may be a symptom of other neurobiological (brain) disease.

A recent study has also confirmed that women over 45 who suffer classic migraines are much more likely to have cardiovascular problems. It is very important if you have migraines to have regular checkups and report any changes in your symptoms to your doctor so that they can catch and fix problems quickly.

By now it should be obvious that migraine is much more than a normal headache, and the people that experience this intense pain face quite a bit of difficulty in their everyday lives. The next time a coworker or schoolmate is out because of one, take their word for it and resist the urge to say anything disparaging. If not, they might be inclined to show you exactly what they experience -- with the help of a sledgehammer.

If you've enjoyed reading about migraines and would like to investigate this topic more in depth, you may want to follow the links below.

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  • About.com's Medical Review Board. "Triptans: Overview and Profiles -- December 28, 1992, marked a new era for Migraine and Cluster sufferers." About.com. May 28, 2006. http://headaches.about.com/cs/druginfo/a/triptan_over.htm
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  • Waldie, Karen E., PhD,. Hausmann, Markus, PhD., Milne, Barry J., MSc., Poulton, Richie, DipClinPsyc PhD. " Migraine and cognitive function." American Academy of Neurology. 2002. http://www.neurology.org/cgi/content/abstract/59/6/904

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