Chiari Malformation Community
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1303966 tn?1296740010

basilar migraines presenting as seizure

My Chiari Specialist says I'm suffering from basilar migraines.  For a year I've been having episodes that appear to be stroke like or seizure like in nature.  My L-vertebral artery and R-cerebellar tonsil are crowding my medulla (spinal cord), so this makes sense because the vertebral arteries branch off from the basilar artery.  If I'm remembering correctly from what I learned in college.  

Is anyone familiar with this type of migraine?  And, what sort of symptoms do you experience?  

I typically have a dull headache at the back of my head most days and I feel like a vice is squeezing my temples.  When these episodes I'm having take place, they typically occur after tingling someplace in my body (fingers,feet).  Then the headache becomes more painful and about an hour later, I feel disoriented and simply out of touch with reality.  Body goes numb and I get clammy.  I feel like I'm going to pass out, but I don't.  Slurry speech, using wrong words, and after it stops, I continue to use wrong words, or words are slurred.  These episodes last anywhere from 5 minutes to over an hour.  Mostly around 20 minutes or so.  

I do have abnormal EEG's, but no true seizure captured on EEG.  

Any information on Basilar Migraine will be helpful,  Thanks.....Kristel
9 Responses
620923 tn?1452915648
Hi Kristel,

I had those HA's too....but, I must say none since surgery.

I even had the EEG's done back in my late teens early 20's....no seizures for me either....they never did an MRI back then...so it was a long time till my chiari dx.

But the vice around the temples...yup....hated them...so hard to function.

It can get better : )

Avatar universal
Hi,  I have been told that I have basilar migraines too.  I have a tingling sensation, usually in my buttocks.  Then progressively my thinking slows down. I slowly become unable to speak, although I can still hear those around me, I cannot respond.  My head has pressure beginning in the back but progresses to my temples and even my face.  No real pain, just a lot of pressure.  The pressure itself becomes painful if it lasts for hours.  I have an expressionless face during the event according to those around me.  At first, my family doctor thought they were seizures, and my EEG showed abnormal Twaves in the left temporal lobe, but not correlating with the actual event.  Seizures have been ruled out, although no one has explained the abnormal EEG to me yet.  So, the neurologist says Basilar Migraines.

Avatar universal
When I went to TCI dr insinga mentioned that one of my arteries was larger the other (much larger, the other one almost nonexistent) and said the large artery was putting pressure on the chiari which is causing a lot of my symptoms.  I have had migraines since i was 2 y/o (that is when my mom and sister said I started getting the headaches), so wonder if mine are basilar.   Suppose I should ask dr insinga as i dont remember if he said i had them or not.   This would explain why i don't respond to triptans, and the local docs love to prescribe the triptans, ugh.
1413972 tn?1305579764
OMG - i get tinglin in my little finger and my bum - i go slurry speech, lighted headed, here but not there kinda feelin, but i shake too, or i go stiff, pains in head though seem constantly for last month n half! i havent been diagnosed yet but jus had to comment on this post.

can i ask - how did your diagnoses come to light about 'basilar migranies? was that through CM specialist?

1303966 tn?1296740010
You can't take triptans for basilar migraine.  These migraines are in a class of their own.  If you think you have basilar migraine, go to a migraine specialist.  My Chiari doctor said I need to be treated for this ASAP.  The attacks feel like your having a stroke then a seizure.  At least this is what happens to me.  Something goes numb/tingly (aura) and then pain at back of head and temples (a lot of pressure).  Sometimes pressure across the face (bridge of nose), teeth pain, ear pain, stings in the eyes.  Everyone is different, but this is what happens to me.  My CM specialist showed me my MRI and my R-brain tonsil and L-vertebral artery is squeezing my medulla (spinal cord).  Makes sense, the vertebral artery branches up from the basilar artery.  The basilar artery supplies all of the oxygen rich blood to your brain.  This is why these events feel like your not getting any oxygen to your head.  Yikes!  If left untreated, TIA's, strokes, seizures, and even coma.  I'm so relieve to has an answer and a doctor who took the time to listen and put the puzzle together.  Ahhhhhhh................  Now, trying to get into specialist who treats basilar migraines with a lot of knowledge.  Found one, but episodes while waiting are not fun and very scary.  Calling CM specialist to see if he will prescribe meds until I get in to see someone.  One these are under control, will talk about surgery.  God Bless, and I pray you all find the answers your so desperately searching for.
Avatar universal
My 18 year old daughter has been diagnosed with "Basilar Migraines". She has headaches a lot.  She complains of sharp pains in her eye.  She goes into a state where she just stares into space.  She also has convulsing seizures.  The doctors have done MRI's, MRA's, EEG's, among other test. All test have came back normal.  She has in the past had the stroke like symptoms, but only once that was severe.  She sometime has symptoms that cause her feet and hands to curl up.  When this happens the muscles in her ankles and hands draw up really bad.  This puts her in a wheelchair.  My daughter has been 7 1/2 months seizure free, and just last Thursday she started having seizure again.  She had one Thursday morning, Saturday evening, and another one this morning.  I am scared for her!  I don't know if I can trust that they truely know what is causing these problems.  They have her on a medication for anxiety, one for migraines, and Thursday they added an anti-seizure med.  :(
620923 tn?1452915648

  Hi and welcome to the Chiari forum.

May I ask, do u have copies of the  MRI's and the reports?

Ur DD's issues do sound more involved then what most of us have but that does not mean all that much as we all can be diff in how we r affected by this condition if u feel Chiari may be an issue for her.

I would get copies of all testing that was done, and get a 2nd opinion of what they feel may be going on.

Do u keep a journal ? Keeping one may help u figure out a trigger for these seziures....

  I am not sure ur DD has Chiari but I am sure u need to keep pushing for answers and get those MRI's and reports so u can get other opinions.

Avatar universal
Hi. I am 23 years old and started having the same issues as your daughter almost to the T. Please let me know if you find out anything so I can figure out what's going on with myself.
620923 tn?1452915648

  Hi and welcome to the Chiari forum.

I am wondering if u  had ne of the testing I suggested for PHM's DD?

The member u directed ur post to has not posted since but may still be reviewing posts, but if u like, u may want to PM her to ask ur question, a PM will generate a email that some one is trying to make contact.
If there is ne way this forum can be of help, do ask : )
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