International Headache Society Diagnostic Criteria for Chronic Migraine Headache

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I. Chronic migraine: Headache (not attributable to another disorder) on more than 15 days/month for more than 3 months fulfilling the following criteria for migraine:

At least two of the following:

a. Unilateral location.

b. Pulsating quality.

c. Moderate/severe pain intensity.

d. Aggravation by routine physical activity. At least one of the following:

a. Nausea and/or vomiting.

b. Photophobia and phonophobia. Not attributable to another disorder.

II. Probable chronic migraine: Headache meeting criteria for chronic migraine but in the presence of recent medication overuse (according to the criteria for medication overuse headache).

Adapted with permission from Headache Classification Subcommittee of the International Headache Society. The International Classification of Headache Disorders, 2nd ed. Cephalalgia 2004;24:S9-S60, and from Blackwell Publishing.

In order to help differentiate basilar migraine from familial hemiplegic migraine, Thomsen et al. suggested adding that basilar migraine not be diagnosed when there is motor weakness. Considering the overlap with both migraine headache and the often genetically determined familial hemiplegic migraine (FHM), the etiology of basilar migraine is intriguing.

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