Neurology Community
Brain Shakes and Dizziness
About This Community:

This forum is for questions and support regarding neurology issues such as: Alzheimer's Disease, ALS, Autism, Brain Cancer, Cerebral Palsy, Chronic Pain, Epilepsy, Headaches, MS, Neuralgia, Neuropathy, Parkinson's Disease, RSD, Sleep Disorders, Stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

Brain Shakes and Dizziness

I have read multiple descriptions of "brain shakes" on this forum but none seem to describe my experience. I have gone to two different general practitioners and they tell me that I am suffering from vertigo but my symptoms do not seem to completely match vertigo either.

I am a 27-year-old, healthy and active woman. Several months ago, I began experiencing these random episodes of brain shakes that are followed by dizziness. The "brain shakes" feel like a jolt and vibration that last about a 1 second. These "brain shakes" are sometimes violent and because they are unexpected, I react by placing my hands to my head. But my head does not actually "shake", its is merely an internal sensation that I'm reacting to. The "brain shakes" are immediately followed by dizziness. I feel like the room is spinning and sometimes I become flushed and nauseous. The dizziness lasts less than a minute. The dizziness is initially severe and then it fades away and is completely gone in about a minute.

These episodes have occurred approximately 6 or so times. They appear to occur randomly and they are spaced out; sometimes a couple weeks and other times about a month apart. I am almost never moving when these occur. In other words, they don't seem to be caused by sudden movements or physical fatigue. Most times it has happens when I'm sitting at my desk working or in a car or at lunch with a friend. When they occur, I am immediately fine when the dizziness wears off as if nothing happened. They also occur one at a time; I've never had more than one per day. Also, these episodes to do not appear to be stress or mental health related. I am a mental health practitioner and was able to rule that out.

Although these episodes have not significantly impaired my life functioning, they are certainly scary and concerning. Any insight about what might be happening would be greatly appreciated!!
Related Discussions
27 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have the exact same thing, you described it perfectly. I've had these for probably about a year now.  It happens randomly and lasts less than a minute. It can happen anytime and it feels like your brain is vibrating and then its fallowed by dizziness and its the worst feeling.
I'm only 18 years old and I'm healthy and fit as well.
if you find out what it is I would love to know and it would be appreciated as well.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for posting Krist10. I haven't been able to find out anything at all. Have you seen a doctor? I plan to go to a ear/nose/and throat doctor in a few months. Also, do you fly a lot? I do and I thought it might have something to do with that but I'm not sure.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I just had the same exact thing happen to me two days ago. It was so scary, and now I am constantly worried it will happen again. I went to the ER the same day and had blood work, EKG, and CTscan and all came back normal. I am going to schedule and appointment with a neurologist and see if they can help. I was also not doing any crazy movement that brought it on, I was standing in my kitchen stirring something and the vibration in my head went off followed by the extreme dizziness. I am pretty nervous about it, but am very thankful I am not alone. Has anyone figured anything else out? Keep me posted! Thanks!
Samantha
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Hi Samantha,
I still haven't figured anything out. I don't have insurance so it is a bit difficult to keep going to doctors. Mine have continued to happen. It seems like they are more frequent now but are less severe. They still are frightening...please keep us posted on you neurology results!
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I have felt the same thing too. Normally when I don't get enough sleep. I first started experiencing it at 11 years old and I am now 21 years old. For me it feels like my brain and eyes are shaking, and if I close my eyes, my brain begins to teeter. I guess that's the vertigo part. I am active as well. I don't travel, don't do any drugs, and don't drink. It happens while I'm reading a book before bed or when I was at a spa or even while I was d stress free year. Is it stress related? Do I need more sleep? Do I need to avoid certain foods? If you ever find out, please let me know.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I have recently experienced the exact same thing as you've described. It happened the first time a few weeks ago while standing on a bus and I thought it might be because I was tired and hungry but it's been almost a daily occurence since then and scares me every time. Any updates or anything? Everything I've read about vertigo (because that's what I thought it might be) doesn't seem to fit. Any help would be appreciated!
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Hi All,
Here is some good news...my brain shakes have stopped. I am uncertain of the reasons why but I have a hunch that it could be a number of things. About 7 or 8 months ago the shakes stopped around the same time that these things happened: 1) I completed a really stressful graduate program. I was always under a lot of pressure so the shakes might be stress related. 2) I found out that I was severely deficient in Vitamin D. I was prescribed a high dosage of the vitamin to get me back on track which also may be related to the brain shakes (although the doctor didn't seem to think so). 3) I think I may have been dehydrated. I wouldn't drink water for weeks at a time. Once I was drinking water more regularly I felt better. Maybe one or all of these are related to the brain shaking/dizzy thing. Hope that helps!
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Do you or have you taken any kind of anxiety or antidepressant medication then stopped?  I was told these are a symptom of withdrawal.  I tried to look it up, because it just happened to me.... I was walking then all the sudden it felt like when I took a step the world shook, but it was just in my head... I saw fuzzy colors for just a second, and it happened every few steps, then it felt like my brain was shaking up and down.  I was very dizzy. It's really scary.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
my 20 year old daughter has had these very same symptoms!  Our general practitioner suggested the vertigo, but I do not think that is it! We are definitely seeing a neurologist soon! Has anyone else seen a Neurologist?
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
this just happened to me at work about an hour ago, did a google search and this thread poped up. I had the jolt in my head that lasted a second followed by immediate dizzyness for just a couple seconds. Not on any meds or anything.  Mg409 mentioned dehydration. I work outside and it was like 85-90 degrees outside, and I know I wasnt drinking a lot, as my mouth was a little dry and had very faint headache.  Was sitting writing report when it hit me.  I feel this shake and dizziness has happened to me at least once before but cant remember when or what I was doing.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
This just happened to me for the first time today as well. I almost never take meds unless its a prolonged sickness in which case I take antibiotics, but haven't had to do so for at least a year. I don't drink any alcohol or caffeine beverages, and don't smoke. Today was a stressful day and I did miss eating a decent breakfast and lunch, so am wondering if its a correlation...seems likely. It was scary; I was driving home when it happened. I felt like my brain was shaking and then felt dizzy for a few seconds. I had the same reaction of putting my hands to my head.  
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Hi..im 31and have gone thru the same priblem.It is related to the imbalance of the fluid in your ear and ear pressure.This is what a v good ENT specialist told me.she gave a 15 day treatment and it was fine in a week.So better consult an ENT specialist

Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I've been going thru the same thing for months around 8-9 months, I've been been to an ENT, you mentioned being put on a 15 day treatment, may I ask what that was?? was it an antibiotic??
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
i also went for ENT and he prescribed virtin 16 i felt exactly like MG409,wILL SEE A NEUROLOGIST AS WELL. I AM WITH U ALL GOD WILL BLESS US AND WILL MAKE US FINE
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Hey guys. Im 15 years old, and i have exactly what you guys are experiencing. People keep telling me its veritgo, but i know its not. The back of my head feels like it has a small motor in it (as weird as it sounds) and it feels like its vibrating. But as soon as it starts, i feel like i've been punched in the head. And to others watching, it looks like i just jerked my head or something. But then i have to put my hands on my face and concentrate on something because the room starts violently spinning. But idk what is going on and no one does either... But i dont have these like every week... I have them almost every day. Today i've had 3. And they are at the most random times. But if you know anything, let me know(:  thanks(:
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I have the same problem as well. I can be sitting watching tv and all of a sudden my head feels like it is vibrating for a second and then I get dizzy and nausea comes on. I am very athletic and I have been to several doctors. I have low blood pressure and they checked my heart to see if it is a regular beat and it was. They said to drink more water even if I think I drink enough they want me to drink more and stay away from caffeine. The thing is that the vibration sensations happen about 50-75 times a day. It is horrible and no doctor has helped me. I have had this since I was 13 and I am now 17. I need help
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Since this question was posted over a year ago I don't know how many people this will help. I had brain shakes for about three seconds followed by vertigo. At its worst I had to grab the counter at my work when I fell over from the vertigo. I was conscious the whole time. This scared me so I finally went to see a neurologist. I went through alot of testing. EEG's/sleep studies and nothing. My neurologist decided to send me for a short day study. They used flashing lights which I felt nothing to be a problem. After that they had me take a short nap. While I was sleeping they discoveries I had two small seizure in my temporal lobe. I couldn't believe it. I had temporal lobe epilepsy. On a side note when I was younger I was diagnosed with bipolar and schizophrenia. My doctor put me on a regimen of Lamictal. I was at 400 mg when it was like a light switch. I was happy everyday, no migraines and no emotional mood swings. My life has changed for years now. Recently I started getting normal migraines again so he moved the dose up too 500 mg and I've had none since. I suggest all who have this problem to not stop trying to figuring out the reason. I hope this helps even just one person.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
yeah, your description is exactly like what i too am facing. i'm an 18 year old guy and have experienced only a small handful of these. one, about a year ago, which was very severe. in the past few minutes i experienced this again which made me wonder what it is. perhaps i'm not getting enough exercise. that's been my hypothesis, sense i have been laying around from this entire past winter basically. i've also considered the possibility of this occurring because of a lack of liquids or perhaps because of stress, although i'm rather satisfied with life right now. anyway, if you get any answers, plz include me in on you revelation. so whether it's serious or not, i'm interested in hearing exactly what the problem is...
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
'm a healthy 24 year old male and I have recently had the exact symptoms described in the first post. It has occured 3 times over about a 2 month period, and has seemed to decreased in severity each time. It always seems to occur when doing something simple like reading a book or looking at a computer screen. Being a health professional myself (I am not a doctor or specialist), I have considered a number of things;
1 The 'shake' and dizziness could be due to increased caffeine intake or insufficient fluid intake. I have decided to stop drinking coffee in the morning and increase my fluid intake to see if the symptoms cease.
2 A viral infection that reactivated from time to time, that my body is able to fight off. This would explain why the symptoms seem to subside quicker with each episode, as my body is becoming better at fighting off the virus
3 I have also considered migraines, as the initial symptoms can be dizziness ans nausea, but it never seems to progress into a migraine, so this is doubtful
4 Stress could also be a factor. I haven't been under a lot of stress, but I have considered that this could be a contributing factor.

Please don't take all of this as a solution, as I have not consulted a doctor and I have no idea what is causing these 'brain shakes'. I will put another post up in a month or so to let you know if I have had ant changes. I would recommend seeing a doctor if these symptoms persist for you.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
This happened to me just this morning I was trying to wake my son up for school and when I left his bedroom I got the terrible sensation that my brain was shaking it lasted for  few seconds and then I had extreme dizziness and could not walk that lasted for a few seconds then started to wear off as I walked into the kitchen it was better but I still felt nauseous and had to sit down I felt like I was overheating but after a few minutes it was ok and I was able to go about my morning routine and then drive on to work but it did scare me I wondered if I should make an appointment to see my doctor just in case.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I've had something similar though perhaps not quite the same. Mine was preceded by sounds and sensations of electricity crackling, and then I got a feeling of movement inside my head. It was like the inside of my head moved upwards towards my scalp (just once) and then clicked back into place. This was immediately followed by dizziness for a few seconds and then I was okay. The whole thing was very scary but only lasted seconds or a minute at the most. Saw a neurologist. He didn't know what it was. CT scan normal. Blood pressure a bit high, which is being monitored. It happened five months ago and I'm hoping it was just a one off thing with no cause to worry. But it was very scary.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I just had  one a few moments ago. I was told it was veritgo also & sinus issues. But i don't feel it is. I suffer from seizures ( petty mal, grand mal, & a wake). These epsoides come  and go at different times of day. They last about 3 secs. They came be months or days apart. I hope to find answers just like yall
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I have just had this experience for the first time ever (sudden jolt and the feeling that my brain suddenly jumped inside my skull..) strangest sensation, then I felt faint, dizzy and felt my eyes weren't focussing properly. I was actually on the computer when it happened so I immediately looked up what it could be... Very interested to read your post with regard to the vitamin D. I had blood tests a couple of weeks ago and was told I was low on vitamin D (along with B12) and was advised to take a double dose of high strength vitamin D to get my levels up. I have been doing this for a week now... they are the only medication I have taken today so far..I  believe now this must be a Vitamin D overdose side effect. It has never happened to me before today. Back to one a day on these tablets now. My body obviously has sufficient!
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I just had this yesterday at work.  Like a lot of y'all have said it was very alarming.  It was not from a sudden movement, I was sitting at my computer and it felt like my brain jolted.  It felt like the dizziness lasted longer than a few seconds.  While I was dizzy I started sweating and became nauseous.  I was able to resume work in about 15 to 20 minutes.  I eventually became chilled and had a headache.  I have a history of childhood seizures, which was a long time ago but I kind of fear them coming back.  Like others have stated, I was recently diagnosed with Vit D deficiency and have started taking a Vit D supplement but I'm not taking large amounts.  I have had dizzy spells in the past that I have attributed to tinnitus or something similar.  I think that what may be the problem this time too.  If it happens again i'll definitely go to my doctor.  scary!
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
This sounds like lhermittes sign, has anybody seen a neurologist? I'm having a brain and spinal cord MRI in a couple weeks, and finally have a referral to see a neurologist. They are trying to rule out MS. I have been experiencing this for years, and is so random when it happens. Nothing ever triggers it and it causes me to reach for my head, it almost feels like a shocking brain freeze. Good luck all.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I have experienced these symptoms many times before.  My opthamologist has suggested it's a form of an optical migraine.  Similar to your typical migraine, but just with optical manifestations: seeing zigzag lines, eyes feel like they are shaking, sometimes a bad headache, nausea, dizziness, etc.  I can't think of any one thing that brings it on, though.  If your doctor just suggests vertigo, ask for another opinion.  Vertigo is a symptom, not a disease, and therefore you are not treating the real underlying cause with the vertigo meds.

I have also found out it may also be a side effect of an untreated astigmatism of the eyes.  Someone I know had their glasses prescription changed to better treat their astigmatism and she has been doing much better.  Maybe this helps.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
This has happened to me now about 3 or 4 times in the past 5 years...just recently it was today. I was sitting at lunch w/ my sister and we happened to be watching a video on her phone and all of a sudden my head had that brain shake feeling, followed by a weak feeling and a  little nauseousness. The first time it happened, I lost concentration and was struggling to find words for what I was saying when it happened. I brushed it off back then, but since then it's happened a few more times...I've not been to any type of Dr. yet, but I am strongly considering investigating this further....it's nice to know that I am not allow in this bizarre feeling!
Blank
Post a Comment
To
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Neurology Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
469720_tn?1388149949
Blank
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm-treatable... Blank
Oct 04 by Lee Kirksey, MDBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
The 3 Essentials to Ending Emotiona...
Sep 18 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
Top Neurology Answerers
620923_tn?1416285879
Blank
selmaS
Allentown, PA
338416_tn?1413581329
Blank
jensequitur
Fort Worth, TX
293157_tn?1285877039
Blank
Wobbly
10389859_tn?1409925468
Blank
Foggy2
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
Ball123
1780921_tn?1416842066
Blank
flipper336
Chandler, AZ