Tackling chronic migraine: current perspectives
Francisco Javier Carod-Artal
Neurology Department, Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, UK; Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
Abstract: In the last decade, several diagnostic criteria and definitions have been proposed for chronic migraine (CM). The third edition of the International Classification of Headache Disorders–3 beta, published in 2013, has revised CM diagnostic criteria. CM is defined as “headache occurring on 15 or more days per month for more than 3 months, which has the features of migraine headache on at least 8 days per month.” Patients who meet the criteria for CM and for medication-overuse headache should be given both diagnoses. Worldwide, CM prevalence ranges 1%–3%, and its incidence has been estimated to be 2.5% per year. CM is associated with disability and poor quality of life. Modifiable risk factors include (among others): migraine progression (defined as an increase in frequency and severity of migraine attacks); medication and caffeine overuse; obesity; stressful life events; and snoring. CM patients have a significantly higher frequency of some comorbid conditions, including chronic pain, psychiatric disorders, respiratory illness, and some vascular risk factors. Management includes identification and control of comorbidities and risk factors that predispose to CM; treatment and prevention for medication overuse; early treatment for migraine attacks; and an adequate preventive therapy for CM. Several randomized controlled clinical trials have shown the efficacy of topiramate, amitriptyline, onabotulinumtoxinA, and cognitive-behavioral therapy in CM.
Keywords: chronic daily headache, chronic migraine, epidemiology, medication overuse headache, risk factors, treatment
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