January 16, 1904


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1904;XLII(3):168-172. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.92490480030001j

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The word migraine (megrim, the megrims, etc.) is the" vulgarization of a misnaming and meaningless term for a malobserved and trivial symptom, which in the majority of cases is not present, of a widely prevalent and ingravescent disease, with indescribable symptoms, which wrecks life and morbidizes the mind, the etiology and pathology of which are unknown, the location or organs affected being also unknown, and of which no treatment avails.

The term is a corruption of the Greek H[ill] and the Latin, Hemicranion or Hemicrania, taken to mean a pain in one side of the head. The word is, of course, an absurdity, because it denotes not pain, but only half-headedness, the idea of pain having no part in the construction of the word. One may perhaps speculate in vain as to the reasons of the Greeks for making half-headedness a synonym of pain in or on one side of

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