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  • Overview
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Headache and migraine: clinical review

Headache and migraine: clinical review

This course is available for purchase as part of a subscription:


Clinical Review

Time to Complete

1.5 hours


March 13, 2013


October 31, 2016

Programme Description

This article, updated in 2016 by Dr David Kernick, considers how to differentiate between different types of headache and migraine, and the various management options. Key learning points for healthcare professionals include the required components of a brief examination, understanding when a brain scan is required and available treatments.

Educational Objectives

After reading this activity, healthcare professionals should be better able to:
  • Identify the likely diagnosis for a headache from its features in the history
  • Use vocabulary that helps to detect symptoms of migraine
  • Know the minimum required components of a brief examination of a patient with headache
  • Decide when a brain scan is indicated (or not)
  • Discuss with patients the various acute and prophylactic treatment options, including the pros and cons of each
  • Inform patients of the likely prognosis and natural history of migraine
  • Readers' comments

    `Such short courses are very good.'

    `It has led me to change my practice.’

    `Very relevant.’


    Activity author
    Original article written by:
    Dr Giles Elrington
    Medical director
    National Migraine Centre and consultant neurologist
    Barts and The Royal London hospitals

    Article updated in 2016 by:
    Dr David Kernick
    GPSI in headache

    Exam author
    Dr Elizabeth Cottrell
    Academic Clinical Fellow in General Practice Specialty Training
    NHS North Staffordshire and Keele University


    This is a learning activity provided by MIMS Learning, featuring learning material and a test. Completing the test enables you to claim 1.5 learning credits (1.5 hours learning). This credit award is recommended by MIMS Learning based on completing the activity and reflecting on what you have learned. If you spend less time on the activity we recommend claiming fewer credits.

    Please proceed with the activity until you have successfully answered all the test questions and completed your evaluation. You will then receive your MIMS Learning CPD certificate, which will be added to your CPD organiser for access at any time and may be exported to the Clarity & RCGP Appraisal Toolkit for GPs.


    Hardware and Software Requirements
    • A computer with an internet connection
    • Internet Browser: Internet Explorer 7.x or higher, Firefox 4.x or higher, Safari 2.x or higher, or any other W3C standards compliant browser
    • Additional Software: Adobe Flash Player and/or an HTML 5 capable browser maybe required for video or audio playback. PowerPoint or Adobe Acrobat Reader may occasionally be required