9,000 year old skulls exist with evidence of trepanation. It is hypothesized that this drastic step was taken in response to headaches, though there is no clear evidence proving this. . Headache with neuralgia was recorded in the medical documents of the ancient Egyptians as early as 1200 BC.
In 400 BC Hippocrates described the visual aura that can precede the migraine headache and the relief which can occur through vomiting. Aretaeus of Cappadocia is credited as the "discoverer" of migraines because of his second century description of the symptoms of a unilateral headache associated with vomiting, with headache-free intervals in between attacks.
Galenus of Pergamon used the term "hemicrania" (half-head), from which the word "migraine" was derived. He thought there was a connection between the stomach and the brain because of the nausea and vomiting that often accompany an attack. For relief of migraine, Andalusian-born physician Abulcasis, also known as Abu El Qasim, suggested application of a hot iron to the head or insertion of garlic into an incision made in the temple.
In the Middle Ages migraine was recognized as a discrete medical disorder with treatment ranging from hot irons to blood letting and even witchcraft. Followers of Galenus explained migraine as caused by aggressive yellow bile.
Ebn Sina (Avicenna) described migraine in his textbook "El Qanoon fel teb" as "... small movements, drinking and eating, and sounds provoke the pain... the patient cannot tolerate the sound of speaking and light. He would like to rest in darkness alone."
Abu Bakr Mohamed Ibn Zakariya Râzi noted the association of headache with different events in the lives of women, "...And such a headache may be observed after delivery and abortion or during menopause and dysmenorrhea."
In ''Bibliotheca Anatomica, Medic, Chirurgica'', published in London in 1712, five major types of headaches are described, including the "Megrim", recognizable as classic migraine.
Graham and Wolff (1938) published their paper advocating ergotamine tart for relieving migraine. Later in the 20th century, Harold Wolff (1950) developed the experimental approach to the study of headache and elaborated the vascular theory of migraine, which has come under attack as the pendulum again swings to the neurogenic theory.
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