Migraine affects an average of 19% of the world’s population. It is the most frequent and severe form of primary headache. Women are sick 1.5 times more often than men. Migraine is a pathology that is hereditary in nature and transmitted through the maternal line. Headache attacks are associated with irritation of the trigeminal nerve on one side (so the pain is one-sided).
The endings of the trigeminal nerve, which are located in the vessels of the head, release neuropeptides, which, interacting with the receptors of the blood vessels (branches of the external and internal carotid arteries), cause their sharp expansion and increased permeability of the vascular wall. Periodic stretching of the vascular wall in time to the heartbeat leads to the activation of pain receptors and gives the headache a pulsating character. Physical exercise promotes pain, which can be explained by increasing the frequency and strength of cardiac contractions during exercise, which increases the stretching of the wall of the cerebral arteries.
Thus, the headache with migraine has clear characteristics:
- One-sided localization;
- High intensity of pain (it is so strong that a person loses ability to work);
- The pulsating nature of pain;
- Deterioration of the state during exercise (when walking);
- Pain accompanied by light and dental phonetics (bright light and loud sound irritate the patient, it is easier for the patient to lie in a dark and quiet room).
The duration of a migraine attack in the absence of treatment is 4-72 hours, that is, the attack does not last more than 3 days.
In clinical practice, there are 2 types of migraines; with aura or without aura. Aura is a complex of disorders that precede the development of an attack of a headache, and sometimes can be observed simultaneously with it.
The aura includes the following manifestations:
- Visual symptoms (flickering light, points, lines);
- Symptoms from the senses (tingling, numbness);
- speech impairment.
Disorders of vision and sensitivity are always on the same side. Each of the symptoms of the aura can last up to 60 minutes. After the end of the aura all these symptoms disappear.