Migraineis a neurological disorder characterized by recurring moderate,severe headaches and associated with other autonomic nervous system.In this case, the migraine affects half of the victim’s brain andhas a pulsating sensation and can last between 2 to 72 hours. Thepain gets worseinthe event patients engage in physical activity (Kaniecki& Lucas, 2004).In cases of recurring migraine, victims’ perceive an aura sign thatinform of motor, sensory or visual disturbance. However, in someaspects the migraine does not occur even after an aura sign has beenperceived by the patient (Davidoff, 2002).
Theprecise cause of the migraine condition is unknown, however,migraines are perceived to be as a result of environmental andgenetic conditions. In most cases of migraine, heredity factors (twothird of the conditions rundown the family line) are the mainpredisposing factors. Changing hormones also leads to migrainesespecially in women compared to men but the condition is less severeamong pregnant women (Kaniecki& Lucas, 2004).In summary the main precipitating factors are family history, age,sex, hormonal changes and engagement in physical activities(Davidoff, 2002). Migraine is considered a neurovascular condition inwhich increased excitement of the cerebral cortex and less control onpain neurons in the brain stem and trigeminal nerves leads tomigraine.
Furthermore,imbalances in the brain chemicals such as serotonin that aid inregulating pain in the nervous system may lead to cases of migraine(Davidoff, 2002). During the migraine attack, the serotonin levelsdrops and this leads to the release of neuropeptides from thetrigeminal system and travels to the outer cover of the brain leadingto headache (Kaniecki& Lucas, 2004).However, migraines may results from eating certain foods, foodadditives, drinks, stress, prolonged sensory stimuli, changes insleep pattern or the environment(Natoli, Manack, Dean, Butler, Turkel, Stovner, & Lipton, 2010).
Extendedcases of migraines lead to abdominal problems arising from the painreliever drugs taken. Mostly, pain reliever drugs cause abdominalinflammation, ulcers ad internal bleeding in the abdomen (Davidoff,2002). In some cases, over usage of migraine pain relieving drugslead to a medication-overuse headache (Kaniecki& Lucas, 2004).In severe cases, a serotonin syndrome may develop, and more serotoninchemicals are deposited in the brain system most migraineprescription drugs raise the serotonin levels in the brain system,and this may predispose the victim to health complications (Davidoff,2002).
Treatmentand Management of Migraines
Thereare three levels of migraine management and treatmentpharmacological prevention, acute symptomatic control and triggeravoidance (Kaniecki& Lucas, 2004).Migraines are prevented through medication, nutritional supplements,and surgery or lifestyle alterations. Prevention is highlyrecommended to reduce medication overuse that may lead to chronicheadaches. Analgesics are recommended for initial treatments andindividuals with mild and moderate migraine symptoms (Kaniecki& Lucas, 2004).
Theseanalgesics drugs include the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs(NSAIDS) and a combination of other drugs such as acetylsalicylicacid, paracetamol and caffeine. These analgesics have been foundeffective in managing severe migraines and had less adverse effectsto the victims (Natoliet al. 2010).The NSAIDS are also effective in pain relieving for victims withnausea, moderate to severe symptomatic pains. Most of the analgesicsare available in oral, nasal spray of through injections. Othertreatments involve the use of therapies such as massage, chiropracticmanipulation and physiotherapy. In the event of chronic severemigraine medications such as Triptan, Sumatriptan, surgery andErgotamine’s are used to treat migraines (Davidoff, 2002).
Davidoff,Robert A. (2002). Migrainemanifestations, pathogenesis, and management.Oxford: Oxford University Press.
KanieckiR. & Lucas S. (2004). Treatment of primary headache thepreventive treatment of migraine. Standardsof care for headache diagnosis and treatment.Chicago: National Headache Foundation.
Natoli,JL., Manack, A., Dean, B., Butler, Q., Turkel, CC., Stovner, L. &Lipton, RB (May 2010). Global prevalence of chronic migraine: asystematic review. Cephalalgia:international journal of headacheVol. 30No.5.