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Neurology Clinic- Migraine

Migraine is an inherited neurological disorder that is characterized by hyperexcitable brain networks that may be triggered by a variety of stimuli (e.g. alcohol, menstruation, fragrances, light glare), or become active spontaneously, even during sleep, leading to attacks.

The clearest way to describe a migraine is that it is a headache that is severe.  The diagnosis is made with two or more of the following characteristics:

  • unilateral headache
  • pulsating quality
  • moderate or severe pain intensity
  • aggravated by physical activity

         Plus one or more of the following: nausea and or vomiting; photo and phonphobia.

Other Facts:

A migraine headache typically lasts about 24 hours (range of 4 hours to 3 days). However, an attack includes all phases and from beginning to end, can last several days or more.

Thirty-six million Americans, which is about 12% of the population, suffer from migraine headaches.

One in four households in America has a member with migraine.

Migraine is three times more common in women than men.

Migraine affects 30% of women over a lifetime.

Although most people with migraine have a few attacks or less per month, An estimated 3% of the population has chronic migraine.  

Chronic migraine:

  • indicates the presence of at least 15 days of headache each month
  • each headache lasting 4 hours or longer 
  • Chronic migraine impacts 3.2 million Americans, and it is speculated that only 20% receive this diagnosis who have the disorder.
  • patients are often heavily burdened by their disease, and often live frustrated with it.

There are several oral preventive agents that are available for chronic migraine and a newer preventive injectable, Botox. Botox is the first and only approved preventive treatment for chronic migraine.

At Broadlawns Medical Center we evaluate, diagnose and treat chronic migraine. Maintaining a journal of your symptoms and frequency and sharing it with your physician is suggested.

For more information on chronic migraine, click here.

Click to listen to the Botox Podcast below.

Neurology Clinic




1801 Hickman Road, Des Moines, IA 50314-1597 | Phone 515-282-2200
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