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Home > Prescriptions and Medications > Migraine > How is Migraine diagnosed?
How is Migraine diagnosed?
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  • The diagnosis is usually made by a doctor on the basis of typical symptoms and clinical examination.
  • There are no specific tests
  • Further investigations such as a brain scan and blood tests may be organised to rule out other causes.
  • The diagnostic criteria for classical migraine are:
    • (A) at least 5 attacks must have occurred over time, fulfilling B-D below
    • (B) attacks last 4 to 72 hours (this includes episodes treated with medication or untreated)
    • (C) Headaches have at least two of the following features:
      • involve one side of the head
      • pulsing or throbbing
      • moderate to severe pain
      • headache is worsened by routine physical activity
    • (D) at least one of the following symptoms comes with the headache
      • nausea and/or vomiting
      • sensitivity to light (photophobia) or sensitivity to noise (phonophobia)
    • (E) no other cause can be found for the headache
  • The diagnostic criteria are a little different for other types- e.g if there is an aura,  or the rarer Basilar, Hemiplegic and Ocular forms.
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