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Avatar universal

COBOB - balance question

Hi Bob,

Further to the discussion on cerebellar lesions and balance (cr*p, this sounds like a business letter!) I was wondering if you know if balance issues that are migraine-related would be similar to MS lesion realted ones?  Unclear question sorry, let me try again:

If one had migraine-associated vertigo, does the vertigo subside/dissipate during sleep the same as it does for MSers with cerebellar lesions?

I have a cerebellar lesion and appalling balance issues when I get out of bed, and have always wondered why I feel fine when I wake up, lying in bed, (and dreading getting up). So do you know if the same mechansism which protects one while asleep takes hold if you have migraine vertigo?

I hoep that makes sense - it's very early morning here, and guess what? I'm dizzy ! LOL


39 Responses
739070 tn?1338607002
Hi Jemm,

Sorry , not Cobob but I can answer your question with a degree of certainty. The dizziness of migraine associated vertigo  occurs in the pons not the cerebellum;

"Cutrer and Baloh suggest that when dizziness is unrelated to headache, the dizziness occurs from the release of neuropeptides (ie, neuropeptide substance P, neurokinin A, calcitonin gene–related peptide [CGRP]).2 Neuropeptide release has an excitatory effect on the baseline firing rate of the sensory epithelium of the inner ear, as well as on the vestibular nuclei in the pons."


I have both migraine vertigo and MS induced vertigo. My migraine vertigo is fine if I don't move my head meaning I am not stimulating the vestibular apparatus. I think the  non-movement due to sleep is due to not moving while sleeping.

You can Google the article above about vertigo associated with migraines. It talks about neuro peptides affecting the brain and spreading to the pons and vestibular apparatus.

I hope this helps. I can totally empathize with you regarding the vertigo it is awful!! My longest stint of vertigo was 3 months long. It was attributed to a cerebellar lesion. I  also know the dread of getting up during one of these episodes, migraine or cerebellar related.

Take care,

Avatar universal
Wow, we could start a club! I can never tell which is migraine and which is my MS. I know at the moment I am having an "attack", been going for a week now, had a mild headache for the first few days but no headache now, but the vertigo continues...

Can you tell the difference when you are having a turn?

Life, aint it grand?? LOL
987762 tn?1331031553
I dont get migraines, never really had a headache were i've needed to take a pain killer. The only head pain i've ever had are the ice pick throught the eyeball (kill me now) type, sunlight brings on the achie squashing eyeball type pain but i'm light sensetive so wear sunnies for that. I've got a thick skull lol i use to always have an egg on my noggin, when i was little, I even tried to break my neck once. Ahhh literally, head dived into the bottom of a concrete pool, hole neck board, no feeling on one side, ambulance scary ride etc. still didn't get a headache let alone a migraine, so if i was ever going to get them i've done enough to help it along. lol..

I'm not dizzy, or anything like that, though i do feel strange and spacey after i've fallen hard. My none migraine related type of imbance, literaly feels like the ground just tilted off its axes or i'm walking down/along/up a steep slope but the ground is really flat. Uneven surfaces tip you over with each step, you know it shouldn't but it does anyway.lol

Have you ever played that game, were your blindfolded and someone leads you around, your legs are unsure of whats ahead, each step is tracking for the feeling of solid ground under your feet, no sure confident steps. Your arms are doing there own form of tracking, and like a hywire act they are splayed and constantly moving trying to direct through touch whilst also trying to maintain stability. Thats me, toss in the right leg over lift, left leg under lift and elastic kneecaps and you'll get the picture ROFL.

Avatar universal
"Dizzy" is the wrong word for what I feel too actually. It's more like trying to walk on a rowing boat that's rocking around on a choppy lake. With a bit of durr feeling in the brain.... so yeah i get you there. Sometime the descriptive words just aren't available!
1453990 tn?1329235026
I'll side with Ren. Migraines are neuro-chemically mediaed vascular events .   I was not talking about vertigo, I was discussing "Postural Balance."   Vertigo is dizziness and fails to provide the correct vestibular data to the cerebellum.  Loss of balance (like MS) caused by a sensory error is a bit different.

Vertigo is normally the feeling that the "room is spinning."   Postural loss of balance is more "when you take a step, you begin to fall or fall."  It can also be something like "When you stand up from a sitting position, you continue to pitch forward without dizziness and you end up doing a push-up or a face plant."  

Dizziness (vertigo) can lead to a loss of balance by providing "bad" sensory data to the cerebellum.  My MS loss of balance doesn't really have dizziness.  I step and sometimes under-step or over-step.  I have stepped of a 4 inch curb and slammed my foot down so hard my ankle hurt.   I also "recover" a lot, where I am about to fall and do the not-so-graceful "surfer stance."  My vision prevents some real disasters, but I have hurt myself walking through the house or barnin the dark.  

I still bowl.  Not well, but a can get a 200 scratch game about once a month.  5 or 6 times out of 30 frames, I'll end up standing on my left foot and using my right and left hands and arms to prevent my face from hitting the approach.  It  looks funny, but it is that loss of balance and core muscle control.. It makes it pretty hard to hold my 275 lbs standing on my left leg with my left arm back, right arm forward and right leg curled behind my left.  Sometimes my team mates see it coming and yell "Timber!".  Just another day with MS.

1382889 tn?1505074793
LOL, great visual Bob! Glad to see that you don't let your MS slow you down.

572651 tn?1531002957
The MS Foundation teleconference Monday/tuesday nights deals with issues of balance. I've posted the information here -


It may be of use to many of you to dial in and listen and ask your questions about balance.

best, Lu
987762 tn?1331031553
Yeah sometimes descriptive words aren't available lol what happens to me definitely has nothing to do with or altering of my level of thought or concousness, to use your term 'durr' there is nothing remotely like that in my brain, at all. Just like walking around in a jumping castle, the floors move under foot, physically your bracing your stance and balance and mentally your perfectly normal. Though to be expected, its somewhat discombobulating, feels strange when its happening and your not in that jumping castle, your sensory signals are being openly challenged with each step you take, and it shouldn't be.

I have to be aware of where my body is in space at all times, distractions in consentration, anything at all, will take away my focus of remaining balanced. So even something as simple as a cuddle can distract, if I let my self relax into the feeling of it. DH feels the difference, I loose my 'where I am in space' and I start to topple/slump or fall, it doesn't matter if i'm sitting or standing. Funny but i'm not aware that I am, my focus is on the cuddle, I do become concouse of something being off but i'm not aware of what. I seem to tune into the feeling of his tightening embrace as he tries to keep me from falling or his verbal que of "i've got you."

Interesting topic!!

572651 tn?1531002957
Here is an excellent resource on the whole topic of dizziness from a neuro group in Pennsylvania.  They go through all the different types of dizziness .......


thank heavens for google and the web - there is so much great information out there, for free!
1564991 tn?1307634409
What descriptive word should I use for when I am going up a flight of bleachers and lift the legs too high and then force them down too hard while my eyes cannot seem to focus right? And during this I feel pretty wobbly.
Is this dizziness? vertigo? something else? Should I just lay off the daytime drinking? j/k!
Avatar universal
I call it the "wobbly boot". But that implies I've been hitting the vodka again!

I think it's "proprioceptive dysfunction", but it's easier to say "dizzy", though I know and you know that it's NOTHING like the dizzy you get from spinning in a circle......
Avatar universal
I have to add from what I have experienced a couple of years ago. I was constantly lightheaded, even laughing (forced air) made me feel light headed. I had this for 8 months along with not being able to find the ground. It felt as thought the ground was sinking and I couldn't get my footing. I also have horrible depth perception and always lift my leg up high to cross over what seems to be a step, but turns out the floor is even, or vice versa.

Vision problems along with uneven ground, is my worst nightmare!!
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