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October 31, 1959


JAMA. 1959;171(9):1224-1225. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010270060013

MIGRAINE is a fascinating disorder, kaleidoscopic in its manifestations and instructive in the leads it affords about function of the brain and about behavior.

Despite a statistical relation between migraine and epilepsy, the sufferer of migraine has within him something that powerfully resists the spread of the abnormal electrical discharge. Otherwise why does he not have convulsions, when he is subject to all sorts of other jacksonian phenomena. Perhaps the abnormal electrical activity during the prodromata of migraine is essentially cortical and does not spread far from its original focus. Attacks that produce involuntary movement of a skeletal muscle are rare; weakness or inefficiency occur to be sure—and numbness, dysphasia, and of course the marvelous spectrum of scintillating scotomata.

A variant of the galaxy that is migraine was recently reported by Bickerstaff1 under the heading "The periodic migrainous neuralgia of Wilfred Harris." This condition2 was first systematically described