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Migraine is believed to be a neurological disease. Typical symptoms include intense, one-sided headache, nausea and sensitivity to light or sound. It is not simply a bad headache. Though these symptoms are typical, they are not universal. Sometimes migraine symptoms do not include pain at all, for example. Sometimes the headache is on both sides of the head, not just one side.

The exact cause is still unknown, though it is now believed to be genetically based. We know quite a bit about the chain reaction, but the actual cause may lie deep in the brain itself.

The things that are often thought to cause headache or related symptoms are more technically called triggers. Certain types of food, environmental changes, or changes in sleep patterns, for example, can start the chain reaction in people who are predisposed.

Treatment varies from person to person. Some find preventative medication helpful, while others use abortive once the headache starts. Many non-drug remedies have also been successful, including diet, massage or biofeedback. For more, be sure to explore this site using the navigation bar to the left.

Read more about the cause of migraine

This article gives an quick overview of symptoms

Some quick ways to screen for migraine as opposed to various headaches and other disorders

* Common misspellings include migrane headache and migrain headache. See our misspellings page here.

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References: The International Headache Society; Neurology , the official journal of the American Academy of Neurology, August 2003; Web MD April 2003 article by Randolph W. Evans, MD and other articles; The World Headache Alliance, online article

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