The widespread disease migraine is on of the most common disorders of the nervous system of the human body. Migraine causes a distinct obstruction for the affected person. Migraine can occur during the entire life span. The peak is in the 4th decade of life. Every 3rd woman and every 12th man can be affected.
Migraine occurs in episodic attacks. The duration of a single attack can last up to 3 days. The headache is throbbing and pounding. Physical activity worsens the pain which causes the patient to be bedridden most of the time. During an attack, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and noise and other more serious side effects can occur.
The frequency of attacks can vary. People with chronic migraine are much more affected. Migraine attacks occur regularly on more than 15 days a month. The affected patients barely have time to recover between the attacks. The whole experience and behaviour can be impaired by the disorder. Migraine is regarded as one of the most expensive disorders of the nervous system. The WHO regards it as one of the most restrictive disorders.
Today, migraine is regarded as a progressive disorder of the central nervous system. Long-lasting and highly frequented migraine attacks cause structural changes of the nervous system. A number of accompanying illnesses benefit from that. These include, in the field of neurology, epilepsy, medication overuse headache and stroke. In the field of psychiatry these are depression, anxiety and panic disorders. Others can be heart attacks, coronary heart diseases and high blood pressure.
The constant over-activity of the nervous system caused by high glutamate levels can also play a major role in the occurrence of other diseases besides migraine. The recently found genetic risk factor, located on chromosome 8, might be a common relevant basis of these numerous diseases.