Thursday, February 17, 2011
Migraines in the News
8:42 pm cst
http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/41652808/ns/today-entertainment/?gt1=43001A reporter covering the Grammys was taken to the hospital because she had apparently suffered
a stroke while on the air. As it turned out, her sudden lapse into incoherent speech was caused by a migraine. One side
of her face went numb and this temporarily affected her speech.
About 20 to 30 percent of migraine sufferers experience
some type of sensation (or "aura") other than headache pain before or during the attack. The most common of these
are visual symptoms such as flashes of light or other visual phenomena.
A patient may also experience what is
known as an "Opthalmic Migraine". In this situation visual disturbances are the only symptom. There is no pain and
the attack is painless. It can be a scary situation, though - particularly if it is the first time. A central blind
spot may occur that gets larger over the period of the migraine. One of the more rare but quite fascinating symptoms
macrosomatognosia, also known as the "Alice in Wonderland" effect. A patient may feel that
a body part or the entire body is much larger than it actually is. The opposite, microsomatognosia, or
feeling smaller can also occur.
A migraine is much more than just a bad headache. It is a brain event.
Because of this, your doctor may prescribe an anti-epileptic drug for migraine prevention such as Topamax. Ironically,
Topamax can sometimes cause visual disturbances of its own. They are:
a sudden decrease in vision
with or without eye pain and redness;
a blockage of fluid in the eye causing increased pressure in the eye
(secondary angle closure glaucoma)
These eye problems can lead to permanent loss of vision if not treated. You
should call your healthcare professional right away if you have any new eye symptoms.