Hemiplegic Migraine

Some headaches are identified as migraines with aura and the hemiplegic migraine headache is among them. There are actually various kinds of migraine conditions. These range from a few that are fairly mild to those that can be debilitating in their severity.

Any migraine can be a very complicated health condition that may present with or without warning symptoms. It is also the term used to describe more than one type of intense headache. For most people an aura, or symptom, will indicate that a migraine is fast approaching.

The symptoms which someone may experience range from changes in normal sensation, to loss of muscle control. Usually migraine sufferers will notice their eyesight is blurring or have other visual problems at the onset of a migraine attack.
If someone has a this particular condition they can suffer from a variety of symptoms that include severe muscle weakness and even temporary paralysis of one side of their body. Hemiplegia means a paralyzing condition affecting the right or left side of a person's body and this is why the term is used to define this specific type of migraine headache.

Cause and Diagnosis

There are a few genes related to this specific migraine. These lack the ability to process a protein needed for. There are some instances where a person may not have these genes and still have those type of headaches. These episodes are labeled sporadic hemiplegic migraines.

A doctor can evaluate you for this condition by running a genetic test. This is highly recommended if you have had symptoms of this type of headache or know family members who suffer from this type of condition.

These are serious headaches and you should have a doctor determine if you are suffering from a stroke or a hemiplegic migraine attack. A CT and MRI can be done to make sure that your major blood vessels are free of blockage which can help rule out a stroke as being the problem.


A migraine is an unpredictable episode and these signs can easily vary from one person to the next. Sometimes the headaches will be extremely painful yet only produce minimal problems with body movement. At other times the pain from the headache may be minimal yet the hemiplegia effects may be very severe.

These are the general symptoms experienced with it:

- Tingling of right or left extremities

- Visual disturbances 

- Excruciating pain that is only felt on the right or left side of your head

- Mental dullness

- Nausea

The aura associated with one of these migraines is usually is more intense and long lasting than the ones that accompany any other migraines. These symptoms can last as long as an hour or as short as 5-10 minutes.

Hemiplegic migraine sufferers can even experience the onset of this condition while they are children. Although the symptoms are very similar to those of a stroke there is usually no permanent damage from this migraine attack. 

On the positive side some people can actually outgrow the condition as adults.


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