Types of Migraine


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Types list: The list of types of Migraine mentioned in various sources includes:

  • Classic migraine - with an aura
  • Common migraine - without an aura
  • Menstrual migraine - predictable migraine related to menstrual periods
  • Hemiplegic migraine - temporary one-sided paralysis, sometimes with balance problems and vertigo.
  • Ophthalmoplegic migraine - around the eye and may involve droopy eyelid and vision disturbances such as double vision.
  • Basilar artery migraine - related to the brain's main artery.
  • Benign exertional headache - a usually brief headache triggered by exertion such as running, lifting, coughing, sneezing, or bending.
  • Status migrainosus - a rare, extreme and long-lasting headache often requiring hospitalization, often preceded by behavioral symptoms such as anxiety or depression.
  • Headache-free migraine - a variety of migraine-like symptoms except that there is no headache!
  • Abdominal migraine

Types discussion: sensitivity to light is a standard symptom of the two most prevalent types of migraine-caused headache: classic and common.

The major difference between the two types is the appearance of neurological symptoms 10 to 30 minutes before a classic migraine attack. These symptoms are called an aura. The person may see flashing lights or zigzag lines, or may temporarily lose vision. Other classic symptoms include speech difficulty, weakness of an arm or leg, tingling of the face or hands, and confusion.1

Other forms of migraine . In addition to classic and common, migraine headache can take several other forms:

Patients with hemiplegic migraine have temporary paralysis on one side of the body, a condition known as hemiplegia. Some people may experience vision problems and vertigo—a feeling that the world is spinning. These symptoms begin 10 to 90 minutes before the onset of headache pain.

In ophthalmoplegic migraine, the pain is around the eye and is associated with a droopy eyelid, double vision, and other problems with vision.

Basilar artery migraine involves a disturbance of a major brain artery at the base of the brain. Preheadache symptoms include vertigo, double vision, and poor muscular coordination. This type of migraine occurs primarily in adolescent and young adult women and is often associated with the menstrual cycle.

Benign exertional headache is brought on by running, lifting, coughing, sneezing, or bending. The headache begins at the onset of activity, and pain rarely lasts more than several minutes.

Status migrainosus is a rare and severe type of migraine that can last 72 hours or longer. The pain and nausea are so intense that people who have this type of headache must be hospitalized. The use of certain drugs can trigger status migrainosus. Neurologists report that many of their status migrainosus patients were depressed and anxious before they experienced headache attacks.

Headache-free migraine is characterized by such migraine symptoms as visual problems, nausea, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea. Patients, however, do not experience head pain. Headache specialists have suggested that unexplained pain in a particular part of the body, fever, and dizziness could also be possible types of headache-free migraine.1

Footnotes:
1. excerpt from Headache - Hope Through Research: NINDS

Last revision: June 2, 2003

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