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May 20, 1974

Background to Migraine

Author Affiliations

Chicago Medical School Chicago

JAMA. 1974;228(8):1039-1040. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230330069035

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Migraine: The Evolution of a Common Disorder, by Oliver Sacks, ed 2 (abridged), 220 pp, with illus, paper, $2.95, University of California Press, 1973.

Background to Migraine encompasses the proceedings of the Fifth Migraine Symposium held in September 1972, by the British Migraine Trust. The volume is considerably longer than the four previous monographs. It contains 21 chapters, many reviewing and restating previously published material. However, the chapter on reactivity of the cerebral vessels adequately portrays current thinking on the two primary components of cerebrovascular resistance: (1) an intrinsic component within the brain itself that is not affected by nervous factors, and (2) an extrinsic component up to the level of the pial circulation where the sympathetic nervous system has a powerful influence. This would lend credence to the rècent prominence of behavioral therapy for migraine. Of equal importance is the article by Professor Sicuteri of Florence, Italy, on "5-Hydroxytryptamine