Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 51-61

Trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias: A review of recent diagnostic, therapeutic and pathophysiological developments


Institute of Neurology, The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Manjit S Matharu
Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant Neurologist, Headache Group, Institute of Neurology, The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-2327.100007

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The trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias (TACs) are a group of primary headache disorders that are characterized by strictly unilateral trigeminal distribution pain occurring in association with ipsilateral cranial autonomic symptoms. This group includes cluster headache, paroxysmal hemicrania and short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache attacks with conjunctival injection and tearing. These disorders are very painful, often considered to be some of the most painful conditions known to mankind, and consequently are highly disabling. They are distinguished by the frequency of attacks of pain, the length of the attacks and very characteristic responses to medical therapy, such that the diagnosis can usually be made clinically, which is important because it dictates therapy. The management of TACs can be very rewarding for physicians and highly beneficial to patients.


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