Slide Decks on Migraine

Migraine is a chronic neurological disease characterised by episodic attacks of head pain.  It is a burdensome condition and one of the commonest neurological diseases worldwide.

Get an introduction to what is currently known about migraine by going through our slide decks. You can scroll through the slides, read the presenter notes or download the slides and use them for your own presentations.

You can learn about the disease through our six migraine-themed slide decks. Each slide deck focuses on a separate topic area, diving into diverse subjects, spanning from the genetics of migraine, disability weights linked to migraine and headache disorders, CGRP as a novel therapeutic approach, and theories regarding migraine pathogenesis.

The slides have been reviewed by clinical migraine experts. Whether you are a student, educator, researcher, or simply someone interested in learning about migraine these slides are freely available for you to learn from and to download and use in teaching, presentations or publications, provided you give proper reference.

History, Definitions, and Diagnosis

The perception of migraine has changed substantially through the last century. Although classification of the disease has improved and although we know much more about the disease today, having the disease can still be associated with stigma. Go to the slide deck.

Epidemiology and Burden

Migraine is a very common disorder. In 2017, it was estimated that globally 1.3 billion individuals have migraine. The disorder is more prevalent among women and prevalence peaks around 30-40 years. Family and twin studies suggest that migraine is heritable. Go to the slide deck.

Neurobiology and Aetiology

Recent research has greatly advanced our understanding the pathophysiology of migraine; however, much is still not known. Migraine attacks have been linked with cortical spreading depression, where a wave of neuronal and glial depolarization spreads across the brain, and attacks have been linked with activation of the trigeminovascular system. Go to the slide deck.

Course, Natural History, and Prognosis

A migraine attack can be broken down into four phases: prodrome, aura, headache, and postdrome. Not everyone experiences all phases, and the attacks can vary from one attack to the next. For some, episodic migraine attacks progress to frequent attacks. Experiencing more than 15 headache days/month is classified as chronic migraine. Go to the slide deck.


Determining the relationship between migraine and a comorbid condition is complicated. The prevalence of some psychiatric diseases, e.g. depression and bipolar disorder, is higher for people with migraine; however, there are shared risk factors and depression, for example, is thought to have a bidirectional relationship with migraine. In women, migraine with aura is associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular incidents. Go to the slide deck.

Treatment Principles

In this slide deck you will find basic concepts and definitions related to modern treatment approaches such as the use of analgesics and NSAIDs, as well as more targeted therapies, such as triptans and CGRP medications. Go to the slide deck.

Download Illustrations & Figures on Migraine

Migraine is a complex spectrum disorder. The differences between people with episodic and chronic migraine highlight the need for treatments to be tailored to each group. Browse our library of downloadable psychiatry and neurology illustrations – everything you need for your presentations. This resource includes illustrations and figures on a range of key concepts or neuroscience facts.

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Mechanism of action of anti-CGRP therapies
Mechanism of action of anti-CGRP therapies

Various clinical data demonstrate the crucial role CGRP plays in migraine pathology, and there are several different methods of blocking CGRP activity to treat migraine attacks.

1. Gepants – CGRP receptor antagonists, which bind to the CGRP receptor and prevent signalling.

2. Anti-CGRP antibodies, which prevent CGRP interacting with its receptor.

3. Anti-CGRP receptor antibodies, which bind to the CGRP receptor and prevent signalling.

Read more about anti-CGRP therapies and their mechanism of action

Watch the Videos on Migraine

Professors Lars Edvinsson, Peter Goadsby, Michael Moskowitz and Jes Olesen were awarded The Brian Prize in 2021 for their outstanding research on the causes and treatment of migraine.

Neurotorium and The Brain Prize partners on making educational resources on the winning topic available to all interested in learning more. You can read about the award-winning research on migraine at The Brain Prize website.

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Nearly 1 billion people suffer from migraine. In 2021, The Brain Prize – the world’s largest brain research prize – was awarded to Professors Lars Edvinsson, Peter Goadsby, Michael Moskowitz and Jes Olesen for their ground-breaking work on the causes and treatment of migraine.

Neurotorium and The Brain Prize collaborate on making this exceptional research available to clinicians who are working with matters of the brain in their daily lives.

In this documentary film, developed by the team behind The Brain Prize at the Lundbeck Foundation, you can learn more about migraine and the research that led to the brain prize in 2021, and you hear from a patient who suffers from the rarer condition of chronic migraine.

3D Brain Atlas

Some areas of the brain seem to be particularly related to migraine:

  • The trigeminal nerve, the fifth cranial nerve, together with the brain stem, forms the trigeminal complex. Several lines of research point to the importance of this complex for migraine.
  • Thalamus appears to be important for several processes underlying migraine, such as allodynia and central sensitisation.