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Stroke Or Migraine

Ok My mother went to the emergency room 2 days ago the symptoms she was having where weakness in the left side of her body and numbness of the face. While we where in the er a neurologist came down and he had here get a ct scan and blood work done. Well a couple of hours later he came back and said there was no sign of a stroke and said it was a Complicated Migraine well i looked this up and a Hemiplegic Migraine fits my moms symptoms but tonight after an MRI another neurologist came and told me and my mom that she had a stroke. My mom is 47 great health. And now after the doctors said she had a migraine now all the sudden its a stroke i need to ask should i get another oppinion or what should i do im lost......
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Avatar universal
Hello Dear,
Usually the diagnosis of stroke is done on MRI findings,which show either haemorrhagic or ischaemic lesions.Symptoms of a migraine may include sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, auras (loss of vision in one eye or tunnel vision), difficulty of speech and intense pain predominating on one side of the head and no brain lesions on MRI .Weakness of muscles  suggests mini stroke or transient ischaemic attack,you should get a second opinion and monitor the blood pressure levels to avoid further complications.
Preventive medicines like aspirin should be given.
Avatar universal
Thank you so much thats what i needed to know
Avatar universal
I agree with these comments; if you have a brain scan that shows a damaged area of your brain then you can't doubt that you've had a stroke.

The difference between a stroke and a migrqaine - speaking purely from personal experience here and what the neurologist has told me - is that with a stroke I got the symptoms of left-sided numbness, head floppiness, slurred speech etc., all at once and instantaneously whereas with a migraine I get the same symptoms but they come on gradually, like the numbness is 'flowing' down my left side from top to bottom.

It's difficult to describe and anyone who's not gone through it may find it difficult to appreciate, but believe you me the difference between the two is quite distinct and marked!
Avatar universal
I understand what your saying and thank you for your input i appriciate this.. the doctor told us that he is sure that the migraine caused the stroke and that there was no clot to speak of he said this is a very rare kind of stroke. And they have moved my mother to a rehab facility at the hospital she works at. her left leg is getting better everyday and her right arm is showing some improvement.
Avatar universal
Wow, I am amazed at all of these similar stories.  My mother, age 51, has had two episodes in past 5 wks. First, she went to her pcp for a regular follow up visit.  She has high chol/and triglycerides, so she goes in every 3-4 months for checkups.  Nurse took her vitals twice and went to get dr.  Moms pulse was 40, hooked her up to EKG machine, dr called 911.  She was given nitro twice, transported to ER, admitted to Cardiac Unit.  She spent 2 days in hospital, then released with a dx of PVC.  No heart attack! She was put on beta blockers and schedule for outpatient stress test.
At stress test, she was on treadmill and her pulse would NOT change.  They kept increasing incline and still NO change in pulse, which was very low, in the 40's.  They removed her from treadmill and told her they were going to do a 'medical stress test'.  She was laid on table, and injected with a medication.  Immediately, she lost her ability to speak and move.  She said she could hear them talking to her, but she could not open her eyes or respond in anyway.  They kept telling her it was a 'bad reaction' to the medication, hold on, it will wear off soon.  Eventually, it did wear off, but she felt terrible the rest of the day.  Turns out, the medication they gave her should NOT be used on someone taking beta blockers.

A few days later, she was at work and started to feel numbness on left side of face and head.  Her left arm felt tingly and "heavy".  She went to ER again, and was admitted to cardiac unit again.  She began to have the worst headache she has ever had.  I will not try to describe it, as I have never been through it myself.  Also, one pupil is larger than the other pupil.  She underwent MANY tests, bloodwork, etc.  After her first MRI, she was told she had a TIA.  Then another doctor came in and said she did NOT have a TIA.  At this point, I have ZERO confidence in these doctors.  One dr told her that the MRI showed a TIA on BOTH sides of her brain.  However, this baffled the dr because he said it is IMPOSSIBLE to have TIA on both sides.  The MRI was repeated the next day, and was 'fine'.  They saw shadows on her brain, and discovered that her brain is smaller than it should be for her age.

Her headache persisted and was severe.  She was given many different drugs before they found something that helped her.  She was released after 3 days, but she still was not given a dx.

Yesterday, she had follow up visit with a neurologist.  She was told she has complicated migraines, not a TIA.  Neurologist said she also has a small amount of extra fluid in her brain, which explains why her brain is smaller than it should be. She put her on medication ( i dont know what yet), and scheduled a f/u in 3 months.  I am not convinced we should stop here. I am concerned they are missing something.  Any advice would be much appreciated.

I notice almost all sufferers are woman, under age 30.  Mom is 51.  Wonder why?

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