Migraine – Explained with Infographics

4 mins read

Migraine is a neurovascular syndrome characterized by throbbing unilateral headache and often a premonitory prodrome or aura, nausea, vomiting, photophobia, blurry vision, and GI and other unpleasant symptoms. Almost three times more women than men suffer from migraine. Although many triggers of migraine episodes have been identified, the pathophysiology of the disorder is not clear.

[wp_ad_camp_4]Migraine may involve release of monoamines and vasoactive peptides from trigeminal neurons and structures in the brainstem, which first cause cerebral vasoconstriction and then vasodilation, the latter associated with neurogenically induced inflammation and increased expression of COX-2 in some brain areas. 5-HT appears to be involved in migraine episodes, possibly by facilitating neuronal release of vasoactive substances, directly affecting the tone of cerebral vessels, or by activating cranial nociceptors.

The NSAIDs also bring relief from migraine episodes in many patients. They are presumed to attenuate the neurogenically induced inflammatory response through inhibition of COX-2. Other drugs are also used as preventive therapy, including tricyclic antidepressants, especially amitriptyline, and the β adrenergic receptor blockers propranolol and timolol.

Migraine, one of three primary types of headache, afflicts as many as 10% (approx) of the population. This infographic was made with the hope of highlighting the sort of plight that migraine sufferers go through and large economic impact from direct healthcare costs and lost productivity in UK perspective. It also aims to give sufferers of migraines some pointers on how they might best relieve their pain whenever they do start to experience pain.

Sufferers in UK

i) It is estimated that there are over 610,000 chronic migraine sufferers in the UK.
ii) 1 in 7 people in the UK suffer from migraine
iii) Women are more likely to have migraine attacks than men- 18% of women and 8% of men
iv) Migraines affects twice as many women as men
v) In the UK, there are an estimated 190,000 migraine attacks every day

The cost of migraines to the UK
i) In terms of medication alone, some estimates put the cost of migraines at: £150 million annually in the UK. The overall cost is much more than that.
ii) An estimated 25 million working days are lost due to migraines, and at an average gross weekly pay of £450, this costs the UK £2.25 billion per annum.
iii) 50% efficiency is also reduced during a chronic migraine, resulting in a more than a 50% reduction in productivity from work or school. This is often described as a migraine ‘hangover’ by sufferers.
iv) In developed countries, migraines cause a loss of an estimated 400,000 work or school days every year per million of the population. Additionally in the EU, the total annual cost of all headaches was recently estimated at 155 billion euros (approximately £140billion).

Please click on the image to see it large. Image credit: napiers.net

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