Dr Lucio D’Anna is a Consultant Neurologist at the Department of Stroke & Neurosciences at Imperial College London NHS Trust. He is also Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Division of Brain Sciences, Imperial College London.
Migraine pain is usually one-sided and throbbing but can swap sides or affect both sides of the head. Migraine pain normally comes with nausea (feeling sick) or vomiting (being sick), over sensitivity to light, noise, movement, or smell. About a third of people have migraine with ‘aura’, or ‘classical migraine’. In this condition warning symptoms (the aura) occur before a migraine. These most commonly consist of flashing lights, often in the shape of zigzags. Migraines can last anything from a few hours to three days. Migraines can be triggered by stress, hunger, certain foods such as chocolate and red wine, tiredness and lack of body fluid (dehydration).
For women, menstrual periods and the use of oral contraceptives can also trigger migraines. The underlying problem that leads to migraines is still not clear but several theories exist. They are probably the result of a series of complex changes in the nerves, blood vessels and chemical signalling within the brain.
At Dementech Neuroscience Clinic, we offer a comprehensive approach to headaches including multiaxial assessments of symptoms and investigation of other neuropsychiatric issues associated with headaches, blood and imaging assessments. We will use blood tests and imaging scans to precisely make the diagnosis and differentiate from other disorders.
There are several medications that can be used for the acute attacks of a migraine. Some people with frequent migraines may take a daily tablet to act as a migraine preventer. At Dementech Neurosciences, we offer pharmacological intervention including injections for the treatment of this invalidating condition.