When we're looking at Migraine and headache information, whether it's from our doctor, a book, or an online article, we sometimes come across medical terms that can be confusing.
Sometimes, it's easy enough to substitute another word or a short phrase for the medical term. At other times, substituting just doesn't convey quite the same meaning or takes more than a few words.
Some of you have expressed an interest in learning more of the medical terminology that comes up when discussing Migraine disease and other headache disorders. So, I'll be posting a "term of the day," probably a couple of times a week. If there are terms you'd like to have defined, please leave a comment to let me know what it is.
Today's term: Pathophysiology.
Pathophysiology is functional changes associated with or resulting from disease or injury and the study of those changes.
When related to Migraine attacks, the pathophysiology of a Migraine attack would mean the changes in how the brain and central nervous stem function when a Migraine is triggered and during the Migraine attack. We could discuss the pathophysiology of how the triggers themselves work -- what changes occur when we encounter a trigger. We could discuss the pathophysiology of a Migraine attack -- what happens to the blood vessels, the nerves and tissues surrounding the blood vessels, the levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine.
All of these discussions would be about the pathophysiology of Migraine, something that is still not fully understood. Researchers are making advances, however. The most recent article we published about Migraine research that was related to pathophysiology is Why Hangovers May Be Worse for Migraine Sufferers.