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Migraine & Headaches Glossary

Terms used to explain Migraines can sometimes be confusing. To help you fully understand the articles and features related to this very important health topic, we have compiled a glossary of terms that can help.

Allodynia

al*lo*dyn*ia
Pronunciation: \ˌal-ə-ˈdin-ē-ə\


Function: noun
: pain resulting from a stimulus (as a light touch of the skin) which would not normally provoke pain; also: a condition marked by allodynia

Antidepressant

1an*ti*de*pres*sant
Pronunciation: \ˌant-i-di-ˈpres-ənt, ˌan-ˌtī-\


Function: adjective
: used or tending to relieve or prevent psychic depression

Arteritis

ar*ter*i*tis
Pronunciation: \ˌärt-ə-ˈrīt-əs\


Function: noun
pl -te*rit*i*des
Pronunciation: \-ˈrit-ə-ˌdēz\
: arterial inflammation see giant cell arteritis

Aura

au*ra
Pronunciation: \ˈor-ə\


Function: noun
pl auras
also au*rae
Pronunciation: \-ē\
: a subjective sensation (as of voices or colored lights or crawling and numbness) experienced before an attack of some nervous disorders (as epilepsy or migraine)

Biofeedback

bio*feed*back
Pronunciation: \-ˈfēd-ˌbak\


Function: noun
: the technique of making unconscious or involuntary bodily processes (as heartbeat or brain waves) perceptible to the senses (as by the use of an oscilloscope) in order to manipulate them by conscious mental control

CT Scan

CT scan
Pronunciation: \(ˈ)sē-ˈtē-\


Function: noun
: see: cat scan

Cluster Headache

cluster headache
Function: noun
: a headache that is characterized by severe unilateral pain in the eye or temple, affects primarily men, and tends to recur in a series of attacks —called also histamine cephalalgia, histamine cephalgia, Horton's syndrome

Dura

dura
see lamina dura

Ergot

er*got
Pronunciation: \ˈər-gət, -ˌgät\


Function: noun

1 a: the black or dark purple sclerotium of fungi of the genus Claviceps that occurs as a club-shaped body which replaces the seed of various grasses (as rye)
b: any fungus of the genus Claviceps
2: a disease of rye and other cereals caused by fungi of the genus Claviceps and characterized by the presence of ergots in the seed heads compare ergotism
3 a: the dried sclerotial bodies of an ergot fungus grown on rye and containing several ergot alkaloids
b: see: ergot alkaloid

Hemicrania

hemi*cra*nia
Pronunciation: \-ˈkrā-nē-ə\


Function: noun
: pain in one side of the head compare amphicrania

Idiopathic

id*io*path*ic
Pronunciation: \ˌid-ē-ə-ˈpath-ik\


Function: adjective
: arising spontaneously or from an obscure or unknown cause : see: primary<idiopathic epilepsy> <idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura>

Lacrimation

lac*ri*ma*tion
Function: noun
: the secretion of tears; specif: abnormal or excessive secretion of tears due to local or systemic disease

MRI

MRI
Pronunciation: \ˌem-(ˌ)är-ˈī\


Function: noun
: see: magnetic resonance imaging; also: a procedure in which magnetic resonance imaging is used

Paresthesia

par*es*the*sia
Function: noun
: a sensation of pricking, tingling, or creeping on the skin having no objective cause and usu. associated with injury or irritation of a sensory nerve or nerve root

Photophobia

pho*to*pho*bia
Pronunciation: \ˌfōt-ə-ˈfō-bē-ə\


Function: noun

1: intolerance to light; esp: painful sensitiveness to strong light
2: an abnormal fear of light

Post-traumatic

post–trau*mat*ic
Pronunciation: \-trə-ˈmat-ik, -tro-, -trau-\

Function: adjective
: occurring after or as a result of trauma <post-traumatic epilepsy>

Ptosis

pto*sis
Pronunciation: \ˈtō-səs\


Function: noun
pl pto*ses
Pronunciation: \-ˌsēz\
: a sagging or prolapse of an organ or part <renal ptosis> ; esp: a drooping of the upper eyelid (as from paralysis of the oculomotor nerve)

Pulsatile

pul*sa*tile
Pronunciation: \ˈpəl-sət-əl, -sə-ˌtīl\


Function: adjective
: marked by or occurring in pulsations <a pulsatile glandular secretion>

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© 2011 Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Inc.

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