“Migrânea” or “enxaqueca”: A historical and semantic review


  • Adriana de Almeida Soares Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences of the Federal University of the Parnaíba Delta
  • Yasmine Maria Leódido Fortes Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences of the Federal University of the Parnaíba Delta
  • Wallyson Pablo de Oliveira Souza Federal University of the Parnaíba Delta
  • Raimundo Pereira Silva-Néto Universidade Federal do Delta do Parnaíba https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9949-1740




Migraine Disorders, Headache, Terminology. Semantics


Headache is as old as the emergence of man on earth. A classification for headaches has been suggested for many centuries. After the invention of writing, numerous words were created to designate different types of headache.
The objective of this review was to discuss the historical and etymological aspects of the terms “migrânea” and “enxaqueca”.
This study was an integrative review using articles with historical data on the etymology of the terms “migrânea” and “enxaqueca” and their evolution over the years.
The terms “migrânea” and “enxaqueca” have Greek and Arabic origins, respectively. Both describe a neurological syndrome characterized by headache and other associated symptoms. Usually, sufferers of this disease are more familiar with the term “enxaqueca” and confuse it with headache, while health professionals prefer the term “migrânea”.
After so many years that the term "migrânea" has been used, it would be a step backwards to use the term "enxaqueca" again, especially because "migrânea" has been adopted by young neurologists, including those from other specialties.


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How to Cite

Soares A de A, Fortes YML, Souza WP de O, Silva-Néto RP. “Migrânea” or “enxaqueca”: A historical and semantic review. Headache Med [Internet]. 2023 Dec. 29 [cited 2024 Apr. 19];14(4):189-92. Available from: https://headachemedicine.com.br/index.php/hm/article/view/1021




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