Article

Migraine headache is present in the aura phase A prospective study

Departments of Neurology, Epidemiology, and Population Health, and the Montefiore Headache Center (R.B.L.), Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY
Neurology (Impact Factor: 8.3). 10/2012; 79(20). DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182749eed
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT OBJECTIVES: Migraine aura is commonly considered to be a distinct phase of a migraine attack that precedes headache. The objective of the study was to examine a large number of prospectively recorded attacks of migraine with aura and determine the timing of headache and other migraine symptoms relative to aura. METHODS: As part of a clinical trial we collected prospective data on the time course of headache and other symptoms relative to the aura. Patients (n = 267) were enrolled from 16 centers, and asked to keep a headache diary for 1 month (phase I). They were asked to record headache symptoms as soon as possible after aura began and always within 1 hour of aura onset. A total of 456 attacks were reported during phase I by 201 patients. These patients were then randomized and included in phase II, during which a total of 405 attacks were reported in 164 patients. In total, we present data from 861 attacks of migraine with aura from 201 patients. RESULTS: During the aura phase, the majority of attacks (73%) were associated with headache. Other migraine symptoms were also frequently reported during the aura: nausea (51%), photophobia (88%), and photophobia (73%). During the first 15 minutes within the onset of aura, 54% of patients reported headache fulfilling the criteria for migraine. CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that headaches as well as associated migraine symptoms are present early, during the aura phase of the migraine attack in the majority of patients.

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