Neurological conditions /

Migraine

Migraine is a complex condition with a variety of symptoms, usually featuring a severe headache. It is one of the most common neurological conditions, affecting one person in seven.

What is a migraine? 

Migraine is a complex condition with a variety of symptoms, usually featuring a severe headache. Other symptoms include disturbed vision, nausea and increased sensitivity to light and sound.

The symptoms vary from person to person, and attacks differ in length and frequency.

Attacks can be triggered by various factors, including stress, lack of sleep, dehydration, lack of food, and hormonal changes in women.

There is no cure for migraine, but the severity of an attack can be reduced and steps can be taken to prevent the headaches from occurring.

Who is affected?

Although migraines are known to go unreported and undiagnosed, the condition is still more prevalent than diabetes, epilepsy and asthma combined. It is one of the most common neurological conditions, affecting around one in seven people.

It is estimated that there are over 190,000 migraine attacks every day in the UK.

Migraines are more prevalent among women, affecting approximately one in four women and one in 12 men in the UK.

Treatment

Migraine is enormously debilitating. It can have a huge impact on the lives of sufferers - including work, family and social life.

There are two different types of treatment. Acute medicines are taken when a migraine starts, and reduce the severity of the attack. Preventive medicines are taken to prevent attacks.

The drugs do not work for everyone and do not cure migraine.

Further information

For more information on migraine - including symptoms, treatment and access to support - please visit the Migraine Trust.

How we help

Headache and facial pain is one of Brain Research UK's three three priority research areas. This means that we have identified a large unmet need in this area, coupled with a lack of research investment from other sources. We want to improve the lives of those affected by migraine and other headache and facial pain disorders by funding research that addresses the causes and mechanisms of headache and facial pain, and advances diagnosis and treatment of these disorders. We have awarded the following grants for research under this theme: