Wednesday, May 25, 2011

How to diagnose migraine?



Migraine is the commonest cause of headache in the world, affecting about 15% of all women and 5% of all men. It affects younger people, affecting their education or employment. It is important to make an early and accurate diagnosis of migraine so that the best treatment can be started early.

Diagnosis of migraine is based on clinical signs and symptoms and usually no investigations are necessary.

Following features are suggestive of a migraine:

1. Headache- classically on one side of the head, but it may occur on both sides, it is described as pulsatile or throbbing type. Headache episodes last for more than 4 hours, and upto 72 hours.
2. Nausea (a feeling of vomiting) or vomiting
3. Photophobia or phonophobia- headache gets worse on exposure to bright light or noise.

Following features may not be suggestive of migraine and in these cases, one should consult a neurologist (a brain scan may be necessary):

1. Most severe headache of the lifetime,
2. Early morning headaches,
3. Drowsiness along with headache,
4. Weakness of one side of body,
5. Occurrence of fits or convulsions.

If you notice any of the above symptoms, please contact your neurologist or family doctor.

Dr Sudhir Kumar MD (Internal Medicine) DM (Neurology)
Senior Consultant Neurologist
Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad, India
Phone: 0091-40-23607777/60601066

What are the risk factors for brain stroke?


Brain stroke is a medical emergency, which is characterized by sudden onset weakness or paralysis of one half of the body. Other disabilities may include inability to speak, impaired vision, severe headache or imbalance while walking.

Risk factors for brain stroke include modifiable and non-modifiable factors:

Modifiable factors:
  • Obesity,
  • Smoking,
  • High blood pressure,
  • Diabetes mellitus,
  • Elevated cholesterol
  • Elevated homocysteine levels
  • Cardiac diseases
  • Stress
Non-modifiable risk factors for stroke include:
  • Older age
  • Family history of brain stroke
  • Male sex
It is important to get regular check-ups done to identify any risk factors for stroke. If any of the above conditions are identified, proper treatment would ensure a stroke-free life. In case of any stroke-like symptoms, you should immediately contact your neurologist/family doctor.

Dr Sudhir Kumar MD (Internal Medicine) DM (Neurology)
Senior Consultant Neurologist
Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad, India
Phone- 0091-4023607777/60601066