What causes a migraine headache response

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What causes migraine headache.docx

What causes migraine headache? Discuss its signs, precipitating factors, and treatment. Discuss the role of analgesic drugs.

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What causes migraine headache? A migraine headache is may be caused by a change in the brainstem and it's interactions with the trigeminal nerve, along with imbalances in brain chemicals (such as serotonin). Although much about the cause of a migraine isn't understood, genetics and environmental factors appear to play a major role. Some migraine triggers include: hormonal changes in women, foods, drinks, stress and medications (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2013). Discuss its signs, precipitating factors, and treatment. SIGNS There are 4 stages of a migraine • • • • prodrome aura headache (attack) postdrome -During the prodrome stage (which happens one to two days before) symptoms include: constipation, food cravings, depression, neck stiffness. -Aura's are nervous system symptoms that are usually visual disturbances such as flashing of lights and can also be sensory, motor and/or verbal disturbances.Symptoms of the aura stage include: visual phenomena, vision loss, feeling of pins and needles in arm or leg and speech problems. Although most people experience migraine headaches without the aura stage, each symptom begins gradually and builds up over several minutes, lasting 20-60 minutes. - Untreated, a migraine usually lasts for about 4-72 hours, however, the severity of the migraine varies from person to person. During the attack, symptoms include: pain on one or both sides of head, throbbing or pulsating pain, sensitivity to light/sound or smell, nausea, blurred vision, lightheadedness. -Postdrome occurs after the migraine, usually making the person feeling drained or washed out (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2013). FACTORS Migraines may be caused by family history, age, sex (where women are 3x more likely to have migraines) and hormonal changes. TREATMENTS/ANALGESIC DRUGS Although migraines can't be cured, there has been a variety of medications specifically designed to treat migraines. • Pain Relieving medications -NSAIDs (advil) - pain relievers (tylenol) - migraine medications (excedrin) • Triptans (promotes constricting blood vessels and blocking pain pathways in the brain) -sumatriptan, rizatriptan, almotriptan • • • Ergots (ergotamine and caffine combination drugs) Anti-nausea medication (Chlorpromazine, compro) Preventative Medications such as cardiovascular drugs and antidepressants are prescribed to patients who have 4 attacks a month, if attacks last longer than 12 hours or if pain relieving medications aren't working (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2013). Reference Mayo Clinic Staff (June 4, 2013) Migraines. Retrieved from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraineheadache/basics/treatment/con-20026358
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