Migraine is one of the most prevalent forms of headache in the general population, and is particularly common among subjects seeking medical advice for their head pain. The prevalence of migraine is three times higher in women than in men and peaks in the age group, 30-39 years. Migraine is characterized by recurrent attacks of head pain, often unilateral, pulsating, of an intensity mild to severe, worsened by physical activity and lasting from 4 up to 72 hours The attacks are often accompanied by neurovegetative symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, photophobia and phonophobia In one third of migrainous patients, the attacks are preceded by an aura, characterized by reversible focal neurological symptoms that usually develop gradually over 5-20 minutes, and lasts for less than 60 minutes. Attacks of migraine vary widely in intensity, duration and frequency across patients, and also in the same patient over time. In some cases, migraine may present as a very disabling condition, able to impair working and social activities, but aside from that the disease has been long considered as benign. Starting from the end of last century, an association between migraine and ischemic stroke was reported The relationship between the two conditions is complex and bidirectional Migraine may be causally related to ischemic stroke occurrence (migrainous infarction, an infarction that occurs during the aura phase), or may represent a risk factor for the condition (an infarction that occurs remotely from the aura in a subject with a history of migraine) In addition, migraine-like symptoms may be caused by cerebral ischemia, migraine may mimic cerebral ischemia and viceversa, migraine and cerebral ischemia may share a common cause, and migraine may be also associated with subclinical vascular brain lesions.
(Sacco S (2013) Improving the Care of the Migrainous Women: A Focuson Cardiovascular Prevention.)
Last date updated on July, 2014