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July 28, 1962

Clinical Science

JAMA. 1962;181(4):318-321. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050300038008

On Migraine Headache: Serotonin and Serotonin Antagonism  Donald J. Dalessio, M.D., West Haven, Conn.ALTHOUGH MIGRAINE was described by Aretaeus of Cappadocia in the first century A.D.,1 and despite the fact that migraine has been termed the commonest complaint of civilized man,2 it is only in recent years that its pathophysiology has been extensively investigated. The present state of our knowledge on this subject is due in no small measure to the efforts of Dr. Harold Wolff, whose elegant and incisive investigations on headache spanned a quarter of a century.There are several reasons for the slow accumulation of knowledge concerning migraine. Pain is a subjective sensation which is difficult to measure. Migraine is usually a benign and self-limited disease; thus the lack of autopsy material for study. Because it is ubiquitous and commonplace, it may be accepted in Western cultures as a type of biological reprimand, a

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