Migraine Term of the Day: Idiopathic

Patient Expert
HealthCentral

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: Idiopathic.

Idiopathic means of unknown origin, occurring spontaneously and not traceable to a direct cause.

When discussing Migraine disease and other headache disorders, probably the most common use we see of the term idiopathic is** idiopathic** intracranial hypertension. In this condition, The body is either producing too much cerebrospinal fluid or not processing it correctly, and the cerebrospinal fluid pressure becomes too high. The reason this happens is unknown, making it** idiopathic**.

You can read more about idiopathic intracranial hypertension in _Pseudotumor Cerebri (IIH) - The Basics _.

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