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Migraine

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3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  873 ratings  ·  84 reviews
In recent years the bestselling Awakenings and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat have received great critical acclaim, but Oliver Sacks's readers may remember that he began his medical career working with migraine patients. In this new edition of Migraine, he returns to his first book and enriches it with additional case histories, new findings, and practical informat ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published February 16th 1993 by University of California Press (first published 1970)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,819)
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Collin Shea
This book was originally written in 1970 with subsequent revisions in '85 and '92. Given that it's slightly outdated I wasn't sure how relevant it would be, especially considering all the different migraine medications they have now. I couldn't have been more wrong!
The wonderful thing about Dr. Sacks is that he's not all about standardized, generalized drug-treatment and he has a full respect for nature. He considers each case and patient as an individual human being with all the uniqueness that
...more
Vintagebarrio
As a chronic migraine sufferer, I found Sack's work to be a huge disappointment. His information was outdated and biased towards the traditional attitude that migraines are stress induced. Migraines are so much more complicated than originally thought, a complex chemical and electrical reaction that can be set in motion by extremely diverse causes from brain tumors to multiple sclerosis to spinal injury, not to mention hormonal changes, trigger exposure, and altitude sickness, just to name a few ...more
James Klagge
Recently I had what was diagnosed as an ophthalmic migraine, or a scintillating scotoma. This was the second event in about 2 months. There was no pain associated with it, and apparently it is not a dangerous condition, but it was certainly attention-getting. I had been interested in this book for several years, so I took the occasion to read it. While I am an Oliver Sacks fan, this is my least favorite of his books so far (I've read almost all of them). His strength is when he looks at some cas ...more
Greg
The book synopsis pretty much says it all.
I read this years ago. I remember it well because I could relate to a lot of what Sacks was saying. Still, it was somewhat frustrating and disappointing not getting a definite medical description or definition for migraine, and realising that there is no cure. And all migraineurs have different triggers and different physical symptoms.

I have since found a real gem a book on the subject, The Keeler Migraine Method: A Groundbreaking, Individualized Treat
...more
Judy Vasseur
I just briefly started reading this book on the subway, until I feared the swaying motion, screeching, piercing lights, incessant babble, and ear-splitting singing of the blind beggar might bring on a migraine.

We can't blame it on florescent lighting, traffic jams, or the office because it’s been around at least since Hippocrates.

If you experience migraines, either occasionally or constantly, this book can be an eye-opener to better understanding and coping with this mysterious complex event.

Hin
...more
Christine
I have to admit I started out strong with this book and then took the longest break ever. Then, I finally went back to it. The information in it is truly fascinating but it isn't the most fun read of all time. Musicophilia was interesting but had some fun.

Oliver Sacks covers a lot of material. He goes over more case histories than I can count and discusses migraines as history essentially. He discusses the neurological makeup of a migraine and an aura in as much information as he knew at the ti
...more
Linda  Branham Greenwell
Migraine is a helpful book for people who suffer from migraines. It has full of rich detailed explanations and case studies. Dr. Sacks is wonderful neurologist who is a migraine sufferer himself. I was amazed at how many symptoms a migraine sufferer can have besides the actual headache
I also suffer from migraines and have found that many of the weird experiences I have had are part of the migraine syndrome.
In another of his books, Hallucinations, Dr. Sacks details Alice in Wonderland syndrome -
...more
Helen (Helena/Nell)
I've been reading quite a bit of Oliver Sacks lately and now I realise I've been reading the populist works. He can do easy read and he can do medical. This one is medical.

However, I read it all the way through and I found it very interesting, even though there were quite a few medical terms that went right over my head. I think I was able to read the whole book simply because I do have migraines, so it all seemed personal, even the bits I didn't find entertaining and didn't really understand.

Wh
...more
Mel
I wish that I had read this book 7-8 years ago when I first started experiencing migraines. I wish that the numerous doctors and specialists I had seen had also read this book. Oliver Sacks doesn't provide a magic answer for the cause or cure of migraines, but his discussion of the different types of migraine, as well as contributing factors to migraine attacks, brought up some good points which cleared up some questions my doctors were never able to answer satisfactorily. Most interesting, of c ...more
Fiona Robson
Anyone who has the misfortune to suffer from migraines NEEDS to read this book! It explains so much. Sadly ... not really how to actually be CURED of them, but a fascinating read anyway, and it's always good to know you're not alone. Especially if you suffer from Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome, like I do, and it explains the links with sickness extremely well. Oliver Sacks is always a pleasure to read anyway, and has a lovely, readable style, despite dealing with complicated chemical explanations et ...more
John Markos O'Neill
I read this book when I was in college, suffering from multiple classical migraines every week. It taught me to treat my migraines by hitting them hard with aspirin and coffee, just as I started to see the visual disturbance. I still get migraines from time to time, but never get a headache.

Interestingly, Excedrin is an implementation of the Sacks treatment, because it contains aspirin, caffeine, and acetaminophen.
Janet
I love all of Oliver Sacks books, but for this one, I'd say you would have to be a migraine sufferer to enjoy it. After reading this book, I really felt special and that I had a fascinating disease. Only Oliver Sacks can make you feel this way.
Douglass Gaking
This is not Oliver Sacks' best work. I read this to get some medical insight on my migraine condition. Sacks puts the primary blame for migraines on psychological, rather than physiological factors, despite the fact that migraines are primarily a genetic disorder. He considers most cases of chronic migraines to be psychosomatic, which I have a hard time buying. The book can get very dry, and I found myself starting to skim, which I rarely do when I read. It does not help that the topic of migrai ...more
julia
I have these. They suck but knowing is half the battle right?
Kristen
I bought this book on a whim a couple of Fridays ago because I was in a bookstore and it had been on my list of things to read for a long time. I brought it home and immediately started reading it. And then, when I went out with some friends, I got a migraine that lasted through Sunday. Argh.

I'm not sure I'll finish the book -- evidently the power of suggestion is strong for me. But the illustrations are really great -- I've always wanted to be able to show people what my vision looks like when
...more
Heather Tomlinson

This is a great book from Oliver Sacks, which I especially enjoyed as I'm a migraineur. For those not affected, there are parts that are interesting, but I suspect it's those most closely associated with migraines that would want to read it.

There are some really fascinating ideas in here. Sacks goes through descriptions of the condition - which are fascinating, I never knew how many peculiar symptoms there are - and it helped explain some of my own experiences. There is a range of different appr
...more
Janday
Jun 05, 2014 Janday rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: clinicians and general physicians
I suffer from chronic migraines and I just wanted to know more. I have never seen a migraine specialist or a neurologist, although I know my mother sees a neurologist regularly for her migraines. The only people I have ever spoken to about my migraines are general practitioners, and the only treatment ever prescribed has been medication-only -- medication which, after about three months becomes useless as I have built up a tolerance. So I wanted to know what an award-winning neurologist had to s ...more
Ashley
Oliver Sacks work is, for the most part, quite accessible to the non-technical. This book, however, was written in the early '60's before he got his lay person jive on. He did a decent edit in the '90's, but it's still very technical. I will admit to keeping the Dictionary.com app at the ready. Still, I found the content fascinating. Here is everything you wanted to know about migraine and more: the different types, the varying symptoms (both common and freakily rare), the methods of treatment, ...more
Lorrie
Not the most current but helpful in that it explains the complexity and different forms migraine can take. If you suffer from migraines, especially the atypical symptoms, it will help you realize you are not alone. That said, it is not a how-to book. It is much more academic and brings in medical, psychological, and historical perspectives. It can be quite dense and is not an easy read. It is best for getting a context and wider view of the condition.
Mike
A really fascinating, in-depth look at a common but mysterious illness. Sacks is one of my all-time favorite authors because of his thoughtfulness and thoroughness. He writes about medicine as both a science and an art, the study of patients just as much as, or more than, disease. (He explains that the primary method in treating a migraine should be to LISTEN to the patient.) The book starts with a historical account of the study of migraines and descriptions of its many forms. But the most inte ...more
Kirill
Jul 03, 2014 Kirill marked it as missed  ·  review of another edition
Очень сложная книга для прочтения, в отличие от других книг Оливера Сакса. Много медицинских терминов, сложно разобраться. Книга больше расчитана на подготовленную (в медицинском плане) публику.
Не прочитал до конца.
T. Edmund
As a 'migraineur' I personally found this book enjoyable, reading about familiar symptoms and experiences (while also feeling glad I didn't experience the mosaic vision that some do)

Although for those merely interested in increasing their knowledge, and even in fact for myself with a personal interest the book meanders considerably. I wasn't exactly sure what the difference between Part's II and III were, and it felt like there was much repetition across chapters (especially the concluding chapt
...more
Kazen
If you suffer from migraine as I do you'll find large sections of this book interesting and informative. I'm glad Dr. Sacks updated the information in 1990, though another edition for the new millennium wouldn't be out of place!

Some chapters had no relation to my own experience (pages and pages about everything aura) but the parts that did were well-written and very interesting. A recommended read for migraine suffers as well as their loved ones, so they can have a glimpse of what an attack can
...more
Courtney
This book really helped me to understand just what was happening in my brain when I get chronic migraines, and understanding helps me deal with them better. So much insight.
Jennifer
At one time may have been cutting edge. I did enjoy the historical aspects of it, although Mr. Sacks is not a gifted writer so you slog and swamp through his writing. The information is outdated and you will not find a cure or a treatment plan. Anyone who says Mr. Sacks is empathic to the migraine sufferer, has never truly had a migraine. He does what doctors have done for centuries and subtly blames the patient, or implies they are a little crazy or off in "the head". Read it by all means, but ...more
Jennifer Mann
I only finished this book through sheer will. I keep getting lured into reading Oliver Sacks only to remember that his writing is entirely too academic. He only addresses the subjects he finds most interesting as opposed to developing a full and comprehensive picture of the disease.
Pilgrim_girl
Книжка про мигрень в классическом изложении Оливера Сакса. Читается как медицинский справочник, написанный Конан Дойлем или Рексом Стаутом. К сожалению, русский перевод сделан двадцать лет спустя после издания (первый раз книга вышла в 70х, затем переиздана в 90х), так что всего самого последнего там быть не может. В любом случае книга познавательна для всех интересующихся неспециалистов, позволяет узнать много новых слов и систематизировать собственный опыт (если таковой имеется).
Paola
Anche se questo libro non mi ha fatto passare le mie emicranie ricorrenti ho apprezzato il fatto che dopo aver presentato diverse ipotesi inerenti le cause di tale malanno, purtroppo nessuna o forse tutte possono scatenare la bestia. Sembra che l'emicrania derivi dal bisogno del cervello di essere "resettato"... Bastava dirmelo che lo spegnevo!
Ad ogni modo come sempre amo l'approccio scritturale del nostro Oliver e i suoi libri li leggo con piacere anche se, purtroppo, l'emicrania per il moment
...more
Aimee
This is an Oliver-Sacks-3, which means it is better than other books that I have rated a 3, but I have high standards for Dr. Sacks. There is some very fascinating material in here but it is much denser than I was expecting. His books are usually driven and organized by incredible case studies, but in Migraine, the case studies are used in a more traditional, academic sense: short paragraphs sprinkled in each chapter to illustrate various points. I learned from this book, but it took me a month ...more
Lauren
Very dense, but had some good ideas buried in it.
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Oliver Wolf Sacks, CBE (born July 9, 1933, London), is a British neurologist residing in the United States, who has written popular books about his patients, the most famous of which is Awakenings, which was adapted into a film of the same name starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro.

Sacks was the youngest of four children born to a prosperous North London Jewish couple: Sam, a physician, and E
...more
More about Oliver Sacks...
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales Hallucinations Awakenings

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