What is migraine?

Migraine is a complex neurological disorder that can affect many brain regions, and as such, can often cause symptoms that span multiple neurological domains. It is a disorder that arises from interaction between a person's genetic constitution, and environmental factors (e.g., stress, hormonal changes, diet).

Symptoms of Migraine

The most well-known manifestation of migraine is the headache, which is usually a one-sided throbbing or pulsating headache. However, migraine is much more than a headache, and is associated with other symptoms, including light sensitivity, sound sensitivity, nausea (sometimes with vomiting), smell sensitivity, brain fog, slurred speech, numbness, tingling, visual symptoms (e.g., flickering lights, colorful zig-zag lines, black spots in the vision), dizziness, vertigo, and many more.

People with migraine can often experience many other conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and motion sickness.

Diagnosing Migraine

Migraine is diagnosed clinically, which means that the diagnosis is made based on a careful history and examination. It is important to exclude other neurological conditions that may sometimes mimic migraine, and identify other disorders that often co-exist with migraine.

Tests like MRI, CT, or blood work don't confirm the diagnosis, but rather help rule out other disorders.

Migraine Treatment

There are many aspects to consider when treating migraine.

Identifying a person's triggers, and changing one's lifestyle is essential. For example, controlling caffeine intake and regular sleeping habits can often be helpful.

Rescue treatments are used to treat migraine attacks. There are many options, including medications (e.g., analgesics, triptans), and neuromodulation (e.g., Gammacore, Nerivio)

Preventive treatments are used on a regular basis to reduce the number, duration, and severity of migraine attacks. There are a multitude of options, including supplements (e.g., magnesium, vitamin B2), oral medications (e.g. nortriptyline, topiramate), injectable medications (e.g. fremanezumab, Botox), and neuromodulation (e.g., Cefaly).

Treating co-morbid and other symptoms experienced by people with migraine (e.g. motion sickness, depression, light sensitivity) is a very important aspect of comprehensive migraine management.

Rather than an isolated approach that focuses only on pharmacologic treatments, or natural therapies, we believe in a synergistic approach that combines most helpful aspects from each domain.