Defining the differences between episodic migraine and chronic migraine

Current Pain and Headache ReportsKatsarava Z et al. | November 18, 2011

Recognizing that both disorders are on the spectrum of migraine, this review serves as a guide to define the disease state of chronic migraine (CM) as distinct from episodic migraine (EM) in terms of clinical, epidemiological, sociodemographic, and comorbidity profiles.

  • Chronic migraine (CM) and episodic migraine (EM) are part of the spectrum of migraine disorders, but they are distinct clinical entities.
  • Population–based studies have shown that those with CM demonstrate higher individual and societal burden because they are significantly more disabled than those with EM and have greater impaired quality of life both inside and outside the home.
  • Proper diagnosis of both conditions requires clearly defined clinical criteria.
  • Diagnosis enables the initiation of appropriate treatments and risk–factor modification, which ultimately improve functional status and quality of life for persons with migraine.

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