Fast Five Quiz: Migraine Prevention and Treatment

Helmi L. Lutsep, MD

Disclosures

February 03, 2021

Migraine headaches are typically unilateral and are sometimes associated with visual or sensory symptoms, known as aura. These auras most commonly occur before the headache begins but may occur during or after. Typical symptoms of migraine headaches include the following:

  • Throbbing or pulsatile headache, with moderate to severe pain that intensifies with movement or physical activity

  • Unilateral and localized pain in the frontotemporal and ocular area, but the pain may be felt anywhere around the head or neck

  • Pain builds up over a period of 1-2 hours, progressing posteriorly and becoming diffuse

  • Headache lasting 4-72 hours

  • Nausea (80%) and vomiting (50%), including anorexia and food intolerance, and light-headedness

  • Sensitivity to light and sound

In the United States, about 18% of women and 6% of men experience migraine. The disorder disproportionately burdens people aged 18-44, those who are unemployed or who earn less than $35,000 a year, and those who are elderly or disabled. Migraine affects 39 million people in the United States, while 1 billion suffer from them worldwide. Ninety percent of migraine sufferers are unable to work during their headache, and migraine is among the top 5 reasons people visit emergency departments.

Migraine treatment involves acute (abortive) and preventive (prophylactic) therapy. Patients with frequent attacks usually require both. Measures directed toward reducing migraine triggers are also generally advisable.

Are you familiar with key aspects of migraine prevention and treatment? Test your knowledge with this quick quiz.

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