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Avatar universal

migranes=mini strokes

I read a article about migraines are related to strokes or that they do damage to the brain as would a stroke.  Could you clear this up for me?  It also stated that for people who get aura's on the onset of a migraine that is is actually a sign that the brain isn't getting enough oxygen.  Is this just a theory?  What are the signifigance of this info to people with migraines?
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Avatar universal
People with migraines, especially those with auras (vision changes, light spots, zigzag lines or transient blindness;  or body changes -- weakness or numbness) are more at risk for developing strokes as a result of their migraines.  Sometimes, doctors can find changes in brains of those who have poorly controlled migraines and these changes are very much stroke-like, only people don't know about them.  It is always best to control your migraines so that you don't have them more often than once every couple of months.  You should take preventative medications as well as ask for medications that could stop a migraine before it begins.  Your doctor needs to take a good history in order to determine what kind of migraine you have as not all medications are safe for every headache.

Avatar universal
just throwing this in here seems the most appropriate place to post.
im 19 years old and have had started to get daily migraines when i was 9-10
ive had "persistant daily headache" for the past 9-10 years which they finally decided on this year, either this was a cause or affect i cant remember what came first but they started happening at the same time, i get a build up of pressure behind my left ear it increases to a point where it "pops" once it pops my head freezes down to my left shoulder and i get the sensation of liquid running down my left arm chest and back also a weird taste and numb tounge tingly face. they used to occur once every few months until may last year when it changed dramatically.
i was at a family 21st, had had a fairly bad migraine all day and had the pressure build up as normal (what you must be aware of was that i had been drinking but not in excess due to the mirgraine) i was on the dance floor when i started to feel realy dizzy and lost, i walked over to my mother and just as i was about to say i dont feel good my "pop" happened and my body gave way and i feel onto the floor at her feet, at this stage i couldnt move my left leg arm and my face had dropped (this was what was witnessed by all there) they rushed me to hospital due to everyone thinking it was a stroke, i ended up sitting in the waiting room cause it was busy and then after about three hours it came right and i went home feeling shaken and weak...this has progressivly got worse in symptoms as late last year i had the same thing but this time it was total body paraylisis where i was fully numb couldnt open close mouth eyes or speak for about 3 hours...early this year i started to have one sided seizures on my right side that last for about 2 hours then my muscles are just really tight and sore...i have had a few more full body and one sided episodes totaling 9 thats including the seizure type things.(keep in mind i am fully awake and aware of whats happening i just cant do anything.. things took a turn for the worst when i had another full body paralysis which started to come right then i had a massive full body seziure that lasted a few minutes untill i fell unconscious and stopped breathing for between 1.5 to 2 mins, ambulance came but then left without taking me to hospital..since then weakness occured in my right side so bad that it wouldnt bend at the joints and was very weak i could still weight bear on the leg so i could hobble/walk..i was admitted to hospital with the weakness and inablity to breath properly was rushed to the er by me uncle was tachicardic for most of the night and was on oxygen for three days and then the neuroligist came to the conclusion that he didnt know what was wrong but cause i could weight bear i was making it up and i had functional weakness....i have had 3 or so cts of the brain with contrast, had a mri of the brain, had a ct angigram with contrast and ecgs and so many blood tests its the norm now, i have tried alternative medicines and treatments but it all falls back to the migraines i think im off to a neuropsycologist to check the functional weakness stuff but have been to counclers/psyciatrists.. any ideas from anyone.. this is truely affecting how i live
Avatar universal
I have had migraines since I was a small child..(I can remember having them in 1st grade)
I have been having strange symptoms since last year.......the frequency of my headaches have increased in frequency, severity and also number of attacks.
The pain has changed from frontal head pain to pain in the lower-back portion of my head (skull base) with severe retro-bulbar pain/pressure.
In July of last year I started experiencing left-sided tingling and numbness, later I started having random dizziness, one instance of tunnel vision, vibration like visual disturbances, with several episodes of a strange eye disturbance ( it only has occurs at night, ...my eyes suddenly have a scrambled, tumbling, chaotic movement, usually coupled with severe nausea. (it's like my eyes just go crazy)
I have had 2 MRI's, the first one showing one hyperintense lesion, the 2nd one 3 months later I had a total of 5 lesions in white matter, and also an area of increased signal in the inferior medulla.
The Neuro I'm seeing was first considering MS, but I am currently  diagnosed as having "Demyelinating Disease of the CNS Unspecified"  
Neuro has since stated it could be a rare type of migraine (he mentioned hemiplegic migraine, but basilar migraine is another possibility)
I am currently taking Lamictal, I take Midrin and Mepragan for pain, and  supposed to take low-dosed aspirin daily.
I scheduled for 3rd MRI in July. Neuro said we would go from there as far as diagnosis.
I am definitley concerned with the possibility of stroke.
I'm hoping for some answers after my MRI.
Take care,
Chick
Avatar universal
Just diagnosed with complicated migraine, told the oxygen deprivation was not important. Residual symptoms - tremors, weakness, confusion, exhaustion, all psychological. Ain't medicine cool? Stay away from those darn first-day-in-the-hospital Dr.s!
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MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Meikman, thank you for your question; it is indeed an interesting topic and unfortunately, I cannot offer you an absolute answer as the data are somewhat equivocal.  There have been a great many papers investigating the relationship between stroke and migraine and various studies have in fact demonstrated some degree of association between the two.  From what I have encountered in the literature, the data does not establish causation (i.e. migraine causing stroke) but rather, a very weak correlation between the two.  To date, the mechanism remains unclear, although there have been various theories in this regard.

One proposed theory is that migraine, particularly migraine with aura, has a vascular component.  That is, some of the symptoms experienced during migraine are related to changes in the caliber of blood vessels.  There is one school of thought that proposes a phase of dilation followed by constriction of brain blood vessels as the mechanism of migraine aura.  Continuing along this same line of reason, there is a theoretical risk for stroke if blood flow becomes compromised to a particular part of the brain as a result of blood vessel constriction.  A reduction in blood flow would theoretically result in a decrease in oxygen delivery to the brain as oxygen is bound to hemoglobin in the bloodstream.

Alternatively, there is also some evidence for an association between migraine and a condition known as “patent foramen ovale” (PFO).  Briefly, the foramen ovale is a communication between the right and left side of the heart that is present during normal fetal development but closes off in the general population.  In as many as 10-20% of individuals, this small hole persists providing a pathway for blood clots to travel from the venous circulation (right heart) to the arterial circulation (left heart).  If blood clots are present in the left heart, they can then be pumped out of the heart into the brain causing a stroke.   Hence, in patients with migraine and PFO, there would be an increased risk for stroke.   Please recognize that the vast majority of people with PFO are entirely asymptomatic and live normal lives without ever suffering from stroke.  It is important to realize that the linkage between PFO and migraine remains unclear, and more studies are required to investigate this relationship.

I must stress that a great deal of the theories discussed above are just that, theory.  Mechanisms of migraine remain a hot topic in the literature, and more studies are required to further clarify the loose associations discussed above.  Thank you for your thoughtful questions and perhaps this matter will be further clarified through current research efforts.
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