Migraine: How Much Do You Know? (Take our quiz and find out!)

Migraine disease…maybe you know someone who has it, or maybe you even have it yourself. But how much do you really know about it? Take our True/False Quiz to find out! Decide if each statement below is true or false and then see the answers at the bottom.

True or False? Place a T or F in each blank.

  1. ___ Migraine is a contagious disease.
  2. ___ Migraine affects women, but not men or children.
  3. ___ Migraine is just a bad headache.
  4. ___ A short night’s sleep can trigger a migraine attack for some people.
  5. ___ Some people have “brain fog” after a migraine attack.
  6. ___ People with migraine disease can be cured.
  7. ___ A migraine attack can occur in phases.
  8. ___ Migraine attacks never last long.
  9. ___ A migraine aura occurs because of electrical activity in the brain.
  10. __ Migraine disease is diagnosed with a brain scan.



  1. . FALSE. Migraine disease is not contagious. It does, however, often run in families. If one parent has migraine, each child has a 50% chance of having it too. If both parents have migraine, each child has a 75% chance of inheriting migraine disease.
  2. FALSE. Migraine disease affects three times more women than men, but anyone at any age can have migraine. According to the American Migraine Foundation, about 40 million Americans have migraine disease—1 in 5 women, 1 in 16 men, and 1 in 11 children.
  3. FALSE. A migraine attack is much more than a bad headache. The throbbing, pounding, or pulsating headache is just one symptom of this debilitating brain disease. Other symptoms vary from person to person but can include nausea and/or vomiting, hypersensitivity to light, sound, touch or odors, fatigue, dizziness, hot flashes, chills, insomnia, or tearing eyes.
  4. TRUE. A trigger is anything that sets off a migraine. Getting too little (or too much) sleep can trigger a migraine for some people. Other common triggers are stress, missing a meal, smoke, red wine, or weather changes.
  5. TRUE. After a migraine, many people have a “migraine hangover,” also known as brain fog. They may feel distracted, find it hard to concentrate, or have trouble thinking clearly. Brain fog can also occur up to 48 hours before a migraine begins, or during an attack, or in between attacks.
  6. FALSE. While there are many effective treatments for managing migraine, there is no cure yet.
  7. TRUE. A migraine attack can occur in four distinct phases. Not everyone experiences all four phases; some people only have one or two phases.
  • Prodrome: a painless warning that a migraine is coming. About 30-40% of migraine sufferers experience prodrome. Hours to days before a migraine, people may feel sluggish, irritable, depressed, and have food cravings, yawning, constipation, diarrhea, or brain fog.
  • Aura: a second warning phase that lasts from 5-60 minutes. It is most often visual: flashes of light, colors, zig zag shapes, or blind spots. Some people hear sounds that aren’t really there, such as footsteps or a ticking clock. For others, aura is numbness or tingling in a hand or near the lips. Some have trouble speaking or have weakness on one side of the body. Still others smell odors that aren’t there. About 30% have aura. Some do not go on to the headache phase.
    Headache: the phase most people think of when they hear the word migraine. Along with a pulsing headache that can be severe and long-lasting, people may experience any of the various debilitating symptoms described in #3 above.
  • Postdrome: the “migraine hangover” that about 80% of people experience after the headache phase has ended. People may feel extreme joy, tiredness, depression, scalp tenderness, body aches, or brain fog.
  1. FALSE. A migraine attack can be as brief as a few hours or last as long as three days.
  2. TRUE. A migraine aura is preceded by a wave of electrical activity in the brain called cortical spreading depression. It flows across the brain from back to front. In the back of the brain where sight is controlled, it may create the visual disturbances of aura.
  3. FALSE. There is no blood test, brain scan, or any other test that can diagnose migraine disease. Doctors reach a diagnosis based on family history, the patient’s symptoms, and their answers to specific questions about how their pain impacts their daily life.

How many questions did you get right? Give yourself 10 points for each right answer!

To learn more about migraine, visit https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/

Deborah Barr is a patient educator in the Comprehensive Headache Program at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist.


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