PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

How does a migraine start?

ANSWER

A migraine starts when overactive nerve cells send out signals that activate the trigeminal nerve-the nerve that supplies sensation to the head and face. Activation of the nerve causes release of certain chemicals like serotonin and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). CGRP causes the blood vessels in the lining of the brain to swell causing release of more neurotransmitters that produce an inflammation-and pain.

From: Migraine Headaches WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: National Headache Foundation: "Migraine."

Stewart, W. February 1997. Annals of Neurology,

Daroff, R. Saunders, 2012. Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice, 6th edition,

Medical Clinics of North America, March 2009.

News release, FDA.

Reviewed by Lawrence C. Newman on May 23, 2018

SOURCES: National Headache Foundation: "Migraine."

Stewart, W. February 1997. Annals of Neurology,

Daroff, R. Saunders, 2012. Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice, 6th edition,

Medical Clinics of North America, March 2009.

News release, FDA.

Reviewed by Lawrence C. Newman on May 23, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

What triggers a migraine?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.