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The World in Medicine
February 10, 1999

Migraine in France

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JAMA. 1999;281(6):503. doi:10.1001/jama.281.6.503-JWM90000-2-1

The French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) has issued a new report in hopes of improving the diagnosis and treatment of migraine.

The report, released late last year, points out that migraine affects about 12% of the French population. Even though research in the past decade has led to advances in the pathophysiology, genetics, and therapy of migraine, the report says the illness remains underdiagnosed and is not taken seriously.

A panel of 18 medical experts who wrote the report emphasized that the diagnosis of migraine is straightforward, based on a lengthy patient interview and basic physical examination. The experts said too many needless examinations, including cerebral computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, are being prescribed in the course of diagnosing migraine. However, they noted, such examinations are warranted for atypical forms.

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