Migraine Headache (cont.)
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- What is a migraine headache?
- What are the symptoms of migraine headaches?
- What are some of the variants of migraine headaches?
- How is a migraine headache diagnosed?
- How are migraine headaches treated?
- What is the treatment for moderate to severe migraine headaches?
- What other medications are used for treating migraine headaches?
- How are migraine headaches prevented?
- What are migraine triggers?
- What should migraine sufferers do?
- What are prophylactic medications for migraine headaches?
- What is the proper way to use preventive medications?
- What is the treatment for menstrual migraine?
- Take the Headaches Quiz
- A Visual Guide to Migraine Headaches - Slideshow
- Headache & Migraine Triggers - Slideshow
- Find a local Neurologist in your town
What are some of the variants of migraine headaches?
Complicated migraines are migraines that are accompanied by neurological dysfunction. The part of the body that is affected by the dysfunction is determined by the part of the brain that is responsible for the headache.
Vertebrobasilar migraines are characterized by dysfunction of the brainstem (the lower part of the brain that is responsible for automatic activities like consciousness and balance).
The symptoms of vertebrobasilar migraines include:
- fainting as an aura,
- vertigo (dizziness in which the environment seems to be spinning), and
- double vision.
Hemiplegic migraines are characterized by:
- paralysis or weakness of one side of the body and
- symptoms that mimic those of a stroke.
The paralysis or weakness is usually temporary, but sometimes it can last for days.
Retinal, or ocular, migraines are rare attacks characterized by repeated instances of scotomata (blind spots) or blindness on one side, lasting less than an hour, that can be associated with headache. Irreversible vision loss can be a complication of this rare form of migraine.
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