Get answers to your Pediatric Headache and Hospitalist questions.
Until recently, the general theory on the migraine process rested solely on the idea that abnormalities of blood vessel (vascular) systems in the head were responsible for migraines. Now, however, doctors tend to believe that migraine starts with an underlying central nervous system disorder. When triggered by various stimuli, this disorder sets off a chain of neurologic and biochemical events, some of which subsequently affect the brain's vascular system. No experimental model fully explains the migraine process.
There is certainly a strong genetic component in migraine with or without auras. Researchers have located a single genetic mutation responsible for the very rare familial hemiplegic migraine, but several genes are likely to be involved in the great majority of migraine cases.
Numerous chemicals, structures, nerve pathways, and other players involved in the process are under investigation. These include:
A wide range of events and conditions can alter conditions in the brain that bring on nerve excitation and trigger migraines. They include, but are not limited to:
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