Migraine maladie

What is chronic migraine: definition

Aug 18, 2021

We know that episodic migraine is characterized by a few attacks, at most, per month. So why (and how) does the episodic migraine patient end up with chronic migraine ?

Chronic migraine

First of all, you should know that migraine becomes chronic when the attacks encountered by the patient are greater than 15 attacks per month , for 3 months . It is characterized by the same symptoms as for typical migraine headaches , encountered for at least 8 days per month , or considered by the patient as the onset of migraine, which can be relieved by a triptan or an ergot derivative. The transition from episodic migraine to chronic migraine can happen to anyone. In the majority of patients it is a long process of transformation. The factors of transformation are numerous, and different from one person to another. We can find, for example, poor economic conditions, overweight, an anxiodepressive syndrome…

Another transformative factor

Another transformational factor, which you have probably heard of because it is quite widespread, is the overuse of seizure medication, defined as medication overuse headache . It is often conditioned by the abuse of drugs and by too high a frequency of migraine attacks. The more migraine attacks the patient has, the more likely they are to gradually increase this frequency. So in the long term to have chronic migraines.

Is it reversible?

The return to episodic crises is possible, after weaning the patient. For about 50% of chronic patients, withdrawal allows them to return to an episodic migraine. Nevertheless for the other 50% the return to an episodic migraine is not possible. Thus chronicity is not always reversible. You should know that the characteristics of the headache can change from one day to another, or even within the same day. Migraine attacks may or may not exhibit auras . Other headaches experienced may resemble symptoms of tension headaches.

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