Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Student Scholarship

Date Written

Fall 2014

Document Type


Course Number

NURS 5330

Course Name

Advanced Pathophysiology

Professor’s Name

John D. Chovan, James R. Cacchillo


Headaches, Etiology

Subject Categories

Medical Pathology | Nursing | Pathological Conditions, Signs and Symptoms


Migraine is a primary headache disorder and is ranked 19th among all diseases world-wide that cause disability (International Headache Society, 2013). There are more than 37 million Americans who experience migraine. Migraine is most commonly experienced by individuals between the ages of 15 and 55 and 70% to 80% of migraineurs have a family history of migraine (National Headache Foundation, 2014). Migraine is the most common headache disorder for which patients obtain medical care (Minen, Tanev, & Friedman, 2014, p. 1131). Estimated migraine healthcare costs in the United States are $19.6 billion annually (Da Silva & Tepper, 2012, p. 824). Migraine is often misdiagnosed and undertreated by healthcare providers. The pathophysiology of migraine is complex and not fully defined; however, progress in understanding migraine pathophysiology has advanced in the last 20 years. An understanding of migraine pathophysiology is necessary to provide acute and preventative treatment to individuals suffering from migraine.



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