A symptom complex occurring periodically and characterized by pain in the head (usually unilateral), vertigo, nausea and vomiting, photophobia, and scintillating appearances of light. Classified as classic m., common m., cluster headache, hemiplegic m., ophthalmoplegic m., and ophthalmic m.. SYN: bilious headache, blind headache, hemicrania (1), sick headache, vascular headache. [through O. Fr., fr. G. hemi- krania, pain on one side of the head, fr. hemi-, half, + kranion, skull]
- abdominal m. 1. m. in children accompanied by paroxysmal abdominal pain. This must be distinguished from similar symptoms requiring surgical attention. 2. a disorder that causes intermittent abdominal pain and is believed to be related to m.; abdominal m. has some of the features of m., e.g., there may be a strong family history of m. headaches, and the condition may be relieved by sleep; however, a headache may not be present. The diagnosis depends on excluding other causes of abdominal pain.
- acephalgic m. a classic m. episode in which the teichopsia is not followed by a headache. SYN: m. without headache.
- basilar m. a m. accompanied by transient brainstem signs (vertigo, tinnitus, perioral numbness, diplopia, etc.) thought to be due to vasospastic narrowing of the basilar artery.
- classic m. a form of hemicrania m. preceded by a scintillating scotoma (teichopsia).
- common m. a form of m. headache without the visual prodrome, that is not limited on one side of the head but nevertheless is recognizable as m. because of the stereotyped course; the tendency to nausea, photophobia, and phonophobia; and the relief produced by sleep.
- complicated m. a m. attack during which an infarction of tissue takes place.
- fulgurating m. m. characterized by its abrupt commencement and the severity of the episode.
- Harris m. SYN: periodic migrainous neuralgia.
- hemiplegic m. a form associated with transient hemiplegia.
- ocular m. a form of m. with transient monocular vision loss, typically in young adults, that may or may not be associated with headache around the eye. SYN: retinal m..
- ophthalmoplegic m. a form of m. associated with paralysis of the extraocular muscles.
- retinal m. SYN: ocular m..
- m. without headache SYN: acephalgic m..

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mi·graine 'mī-.grān, Brit often 'mē- n
1) a condition that is marked by recurrent usu. unilateral severe headache often accompanied by nausea and vomiting and followed by sleep, that tends to occur in more than one member of a family, and that is of uncertain origin though attacks appear to be precipitated by dilatation of intracranial blood vessels
2) an episode or attack of migraine <suffers from \migraines> called also sick headache
mi·grain·ous -.grā-nəs adj

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a condition resulting from spasm and subsequent overdilatation of certain arteries in the brain, which causes a recurrent throbbing headache that characteristically affects one side of the head. There is sometimes forewarning of an attack (an aura) consisting of visual disturbance or tingling and/or weakness of the limbs, which clear up as the headache develops. It is often accompanied by prostration, nausea and vomiting, and photophobia. Effective preventive therapies now exist and drugs known as 5HT (e.g. sumatriptan, zolmitriptan, naratriptan) may be used to treat acute attacks. See also cluster headache.

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mi·graine (miґgrān) [Fr., from Gr. hemikrania an affection of half of the head] an often familial symptom complex of periodic attacks of vascular headache, usually temporal and unilateral in onset, commonly associated with irritability, nausea, vomiting, constipation or diarrhea, and often photophobia. Attacks are preceded by constriction of the cranial arteries, often with resultant prodromal sensory (especially ocular) symptoms and the spreading depression of Leгo; the migraines themselves commence with the vasodilation that follows. Two primary types are distinguished, m. with aura and m. without aura; the variety without an aura is more common.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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