What Turns on a Migraine? A Systematic Review of Migraine Precipitating Factors

Abstract

Migraine attacks rarely occur spontaneously in the absence of any possible precipitating factors. A systematic literature review of 25 publications revealed a consistent set of stimuli that have been identified as factors associated with the onset of a migraine attack. The weighted average of the “Top 10” trigger factors was determined. Stress was cited as the overall most common migraine precipitating factor, which was identified as a trigger factor by 58 % of 7187 migraineurs. The incidence of migraine precipitating factors, across various populations globally, demonstrates the clinical consistency of migraine in the human population. Future efforts aimed at mitigating these precipitating factors have the potential to significantly improve migraine management. However, the current healthcare system is unlikely to be able to develop detailed personalized management plans. There is a need to develop a novel approach to the identification and management of multiple trigger factors in individual migraineurs.

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Acknowledgments

The author thanks Mary Ellen Peroutka for editorial assistance.

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Stephen J. Peroutka declares that he has no conflicts of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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Correspondence to Stephen J. Peroutka.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Migraine

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Peroutka, S.J. What Turns on a Migraine? A Systematic Review of Migraine Precipitating Factors. Curr Pain Headache Rep 18, 454 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11916-014-0454-z

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Keywords

  • Migraine
  • Triggers
  • Stress
  • Fasting
  • Fatigue
  • Hormones
  • Noise
  • Lights
  • Odors
  • Weather
  • Sleep
  • Alcohol
  • Sensory
  • Management
  • Personalized