What is migraine?
Migraine is a severe, episodic disorder with freedom from symptoms between attacks. Attacks are characterised by transient focal neurological symptoms, headache, or both.
Correctly diagnosing a migraine headache enables prompt and appropriate therapeutic intervention, reducing the distress and pain experienced by patients. An incorrect diagnosis of migraine can have a significant effect on both migraineurs and their families.
Several sets of guidelines have been developed to assist in the diagnosis of migraine.
Among migraineurs, understanding and assessing the severity and disability of a patient’s illness is an important step in ascertaining their treatment needs.
The Migraine Disability Assessment (MIDAS)
The Migraine Disability Assessment (MIDAS) questionnaire is a self-administered form that assesses the impact that migraine has on a patient’s work and social life. It can be used prior to and at the time of an initial consultation and throughout treatment to monitor the patient’s progress.
The use of a headache diary, which allows patients to record events that play a role in their headaches, is also a useful tool that may aid the physician in the diagnosis of migraine.
Despite the availability of migraine-specific medications such as the triptans, which are effective and well tolerated for the acute treatment of migraine, many migraineurs lapse from physician care before being prescribed an effective treatment.
It is advised that users of this resource consult their local treatment guidelines before initiating any treatment programme for a patient with migraine. Once migraine is diagnosed, patients and physicians should decide together how best to treat acute attacks and whether to use preventive medications.
Source: EPG guide- www.epgonline.org/migraine.cfmLast Updated 25-05-2010