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‘I encourage readers to read this book in sections – it is fascinating.’
Title: Migraine a History
Author: Katherine Foxhall
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Reviewer: Jane Brown, Quality Governance Manager, Urgent Care Division, Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust
What was it like?
The cover intrigued me. I always felt it was black when a migraine came on or maybe it was a darkened room. I found this a topic that is talked about a lot, many people suffer from this, but I had not come across such a comprehensive and concise book written about this. The artwork on page 87 sums it up perfectly. This book explores so many theories from Wolff in the late 40s describing this as an inability to adapt to situations in life which I would say was stress and emotions, today, to the 1880s where people who were cultured suffered from neurasthenia yet the poorer classes suffered from epilepsy? But that was how people thought and thank fully we in society have moved on.
I found the various sections fascinating and how theorists and culture have changed and moved on- it is a book to pick up and read certain sections at a time.
What were the highlights?
It is a well set out book, which although some readers may find a large read like this daunting the author writes well and it is easy to read. I encourage readers to read this in sections – it is fascinating.
I particularly like the artwork within the book as I could identify with this as now an occasional migraine sufferer.
Strengths & weaknesses:
The author, a social and medical historian, explores the influences of gender and culture through the ages and highlights the fact until the science of neurology came into being a lot of this was just theory because migraine was such a difficult subject to unravel. She highlights that while we have come a long way research and treatment can still be improved.
The notes from each chapter are useful for reference and further reading and this has been well researched with pages of references showing just how much this author researched this subject.
Who should read it?
This should be on the student nurse and doctor reading list and any clinician caring for patients as this is important to understand migraines and the journey along the way – we are still learning.