Beyond the Pain: Other Migraine Symptoms

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Key Questions
  • What are the most common symptoms of migraine?
  • Why does migraine affect so many areas of the body?
  • What have researchers learned about migraine triggers vs. premonitory symptoms?
  • When do premonitory symptoms typically manifest?
  • When do accompanying symptoms typically resolve after a migraine attack?
  • What treatments target migraine symptoms other than head pain?
  • What has Dr. Karsan’s research in brain imaging revealed about the phases of a migraine attack?
  • How has Dr. Karsan’s imaging research changed her understanding of migraine?
  • What does the data show about early treatment of attacks?
  • What kinds of symptoms might warrant seeking immediate medical attention?
  • How can keeping a migraine diary be useful in managing attacks?
  • What is the least understood migraine symptom?
  • As a neurologist who experiences migraine, what’s in Dr. Karsan’s migraine toolkit?
Interview Notes
Treatments Mentioned
  • Acetaminophen/paracetamol
  • Aspirin
  • Naproxen
  • NSAIDs
  • Triptans

Please note: The Migraine World Summit’s aim is to bring you a variety of perspectives and expertise, independent of bias or judgment. Alternative theories presented in this video have not been medically reviewed. Views expressed in this interview do not necessarily represent the views of the Migraine World Summit. Please always consult your health care professional and do your own research before making changes to your treatment plan.

Nazia Karsan, MRCP, PhD

Postdoctoral Clinical Fellow
King's College London

Dr. Nazia Karsan is a neurologist currently working as a postdoctoral researcher within the Headache Group at King’s College London, led by Professor Peter Goadsby. She also facilitates a weekly children’s headache clinic at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London with Dr. Prab Prabhakar. In her current role, she sees, diagnoses, and treats primary headache disorders, including migraine and cluster headache, as well as other trigeminal autonomic cephalgias (TACs).

Her research focus is on understanding the neurobiology of primary headache disorders, particularly migraine, using experimental medicine and functional neuroimaging. In addition to pediatric and adolescent headache, she also has interests in characterizing the extended migraine phenotype and understanding the nonpainful manifestations of the disorder.

She was awarded the American Headache Society’s 2020 Early Career Award for her paper titled,  “Alterations in Functional Connectivity During Different Phases of the Triggered Migraine Attack.” She has also been awarded the 2022 International Headache Society Headache Science Early Career Award.

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Over the past 50 years, our mission at the National Headache Foundation has been to further awareness of headache and migraine as legitimate neurobiological diseases. Much has changed during this time. With aid from advanced technology and clinical innovation, there are more treatment options than ever before. However, we understand that these diseases are still largely misunderstood and that finding the right treatment options for you requires insight.

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