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Migraine: neglected, often misdiagnosed and incorrectly treated

MedExpress Team

Published June 21, 2023 08:41

Migraine: neglected, often misdiagnosed and incorrectly treated - Header image
June 21 marks the Day of Solidarity with Migraine Sufferers. Although everyone has heard of this disease, unfortunately it is still disregarded, often misdiagnosed and incorrectly treated. The myths and stereotypes that have grown up around migraine over the years mean that patients still face a lack of understanding from those around them. Meanwhile, migraine is a serious brain disease that very significantly impairs the daily activities of sufferers! Implementation of the postulates included in the Decalogue of Needs for Polish Neurology, developed this year by the Polish Neurological Society, would significantly improve the diagnosis and treatment of migraine, and consequently the situation of patients. It would also reduce the enormous social costs associated with migraine. A 2019 report by the Polish Neurological Association shows that the costs of absenteeism and presenteeism due to migraine amount to about 8 billion a year.

Migraine is a fairly common disease, as it affects 10-12% of the world's general population, which means that in Poland about 4 million people suffer from it. They are usually active people, as migraine affects the age group from puberty to menopause. Women are more often affected.

Migraine is characterized by severe, paroxysmal headaches and accompanying symptoms originating in the central nervous system, such as nausea, vomiting, hypersensitivity to light and noise. These are known as autonomic symptoms. In some cases (15-30%), there are also so-called auras, or focal neurological symptoms (usually various visual disturbances), which last from 5 to 60 minutes and precede the onset of headache and autonomic symptoms. Although visual aura is the most common, other forms of aura are less common, such as sensory aura (associated with sensory disturbances, such as wandering tingling), motor aura (involving, for example, temporary paralysis of various parts of the body) or aura with speech disturbances (the patient speaks gibberish and has difficulty finding the right words).

Migraine - episodic or chronic?

In addition to the division into migraine with and without aura, the division into episodic and chro...

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PTN / neurologia / migrena

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