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Avatar universal

Stroke caused by migraine??????

I am a 39y/o female and I just suffered my second stroke. Both were in the same area and affected the my right side. Most of the time I can not open my right eye completely, my right arm is extremely weak, and I drag my right leg when I walk(however I did just start using a cane to help). My neurologist thinks these are being brought on by migraines. I've never heard of this before---is this new research? I can't get in to see my neuro again for a month and have a few questions I hope you can help with. This last stroke happened on a Wednesday evening and I waited to go to the dr. on Thursday, could I have possibly prevented as much damage if I had sought treatment earlier? Next time should I go right to the ER? There was no bleed and my neuro gave a diagnosis of 'cerebral infarct'. Also, my headaches have been under control for over a year, only a mild migraine about every 2 months, so how can this still be caused by the migraines?
For my history, I do have a history of high blood pressure-mostly controlled by meds. And I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia 6 years ago. I am a bit overweight but am working on losing some I have lost 5 pounds the last month. And I have smoked for 20 years, I am working on quiting that also and I am down to less than a pack a day and hope to quit entirely soon.
Thank you for your time and this valuable service?
7 Responses
Avatar universal
Dear Kelly:

I am sor very sorry to hear about your migraines, strokes and what has recently happened to you.  NEVER, NEVER, NEVER wait to see your neurologist when you think you might have a stroke.  Go IMEDIATELY to the ER so if you qualify you can get immediate IV TPA or clot busting medications.  Migraines do not cause strokes.  The risk factors include smoking, hypertension, hypercoagulation problems, cardiac problems, etc.  I would suggest that you seek out why your having strokes.  Then eliminate the risk factors.  


CCF Neuro MD
Avatar universal
I have had the identical problems since Jan. 2000. I have BAM (Basilar Artery Migraine) with Aura. The aura is stroke like symptoms. I have had 27 full-blown episodes that render me unable to talk, walk, or control limbs on the right side. I have researched this to the hilt. If you will e-mail me at: ***@****, I will share my real experiences.
Avatar universal
Thank you for your information. Why would I be told then that this is due to my migraines? Should I maybe consider switching to another doctor? I can not get in to see my neurologist again until May 9. Can you help give me some information on what questions I should be asking and if there are any tests that need to be done? I'm so afraid that this will happen again and be much worse the next time. Once again thank you so much for this forum and for your valuable time.
Avatar universal
Absolutely get a second opinion. Consider getting a third if needed. If you are being left with damage from these strokes, ensure that you get proper treatment.

Are you on blood thinners? If not, consider at least taking 1 aspiring per day, if there are no contraindications to you taking it. This can help avoid future strokes.

Stop smoking immediately. (I smoke so I know it will be hard)

Get better  help. Push until you get an answer as to why you are having strokes and then push until you get an effective treatment for that condition.

Research the other posters comment about migraine. Migraine is usually a diagnosis of exclusion. That is they don't find anything else. Get your test results and find out what the results specifically indicate.

Do not accept the migrain dx until you are convinced that you do not have something else going on. This is a time to question your Dr.. Of course the Dr. might be right, but I am very suspect of that dx. I received it once. I have seen 2 neuro's since and had many tests. They don't know, but I don't believe the migraine Dx. Make sure that you are checked for lots of other things - basic labs, brain MRI, etc.

I hope you find the source of the strokes soon.

Avatar universal
I don't know what your other symptoms are but the stroke, headaches and your age remind me of myself. I have been diagnosed with Central Nervous System Vasculitis.
Men get it as well but the majority tend to be young women, often those with previous histories of headaches (such as migraines).  These patients often have histories of heavy nicotine or caffeine use, over-the-counter cold remedy use (e.g., ephedrine), and oral contraceptive or estrogen replacement therapy.

It's pretty rare but if you want more info go to

Avatar universal
Ask to be tested for Antiphospholipid Syndrome. Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APLS) is a very rare blood disorder characterized by recurring blood clots that usually appear before 45 years of age.
APLA are antibodies directed against certain phospholipids. There are found in variety of clinical situations. APLA are important to detect because in certain patients they are associated with a syndrome that includes a hypercoagulable state, thrombocytopenia, fetal loss, dementia, strokes, optic changes, Addison's disease, and skin rashes.
Since you are young and have had stroke you could have this- please ask a rhumetologist to do the test- its just a simple blood test. The treatment is anticoagulation or warafin/cumiden.
If you want more info just post here.
Avatar universal
Another thing to check for is Factor 5 Leiden...Clotting disorders can be a primary cause for stroke related problems in young women.  I have never heard anyone speak of stroke caused by migraine per se..From what I have read and my own problems I would agree with tactical that Basiliar Artery Migraine is possible as they present like TIA and stroke at times. But I would be sure that they check out Clotting disorder and Antiphospholipid Antibody.
I dont know where your located but there is a great doc in Georgia that specializes in APA syndrome and clotting disorder. He took care of several people I know including my daughter, He is a hemotologist/Endochrinologist/Allergist.  Best Wishes
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