Chronic migraine as a disease was initially recognized in patients with a large burden of disability from frequent headaches and a history of prior migraines. Over time, this observation was operationalized into multiple diagnostic criteria with requirements for frequent headache days, typically 15 or more, which, on at least 8 days in a month, have the features of migraine headache. Chronic migraine affects 1–2% of the general population, and about 8% of patients with migraine. Understanding disease mechanisms still remains a challenge. Inflammation and central sensitization play significant role in the evolutive mechanisms of chronic migraine. Treatment of this condition should primarily focus on the prevention. The currently available evidence-based prophylactic treatment options are topiramate, valproic acid, onabotulinumtoxin A and recently developed promising anti-CGRP monoclonal antibodies. Chronic migraine research is a dynamic and rapidly advancing area. New developments in this field have the potential to improve the diagnosis, to provide more personalized treatments and to reduce burden of disability.
Part of the book: Migraine