Anyone else had memory loss during a migraine? Please share your story so that I know I don't have a more serious problem. My story is in my bio. Thanks.
I suffer from Migraines currently taking beta-blockers for them. I mentioned this to my doctor (the amnesia) he said he'd never heard of it. What worries me is that since I started getting Migraines, back in school my memory seems to worsen. This is a little alarming more so as I am only 23 years of age. If anyone can answer this question also I would be most grateful too!
I have had my hemiplegic migraines since I was 5. I now have a hard time remembering anyone's name. It eventually comes to me. My Aura sometimes is I can see up but not down, but most of the time just the wavy line and numb arm and leg and sound like a drunk or stroke victim. I now cannot walk without a walker. I am in the process of having a lawyer check out the hospital that treated me with DHE. I have no idea what they did to me. They did a spinal biopsy and did not plug the hole quickly enough. I don't know what that means either. In any event I have migraines 4 times a week. Not fun. Your's may just go away. Most peoples do. You have to have a gene mutation to have a hemiplegic migraine, I do. Get thorough testing while you are young. Take care. Diane 52 Y.O.
I get migrains with amnesia also. A few times when I have had a migrain I have no idea of what happen that day. My husband has to tell me what happen that day. It is truely scary. I am 47 years old and have had migrains my whole life. Also I have found I sometime forget how to do simple math or read and spell. I am on Topamax and amitipline. This seems to help with some of the symtoms. I am truely sorry you have to go through this at such a young age. I do hope you find medication that will help you
You guys have been fantastic with your answers. I live in the UK and over here the doctors do not seem to care. I have never been forwarded to a specialist. I have changed my medication a few times recently to try and get it under control because work have been nagging me about the ammount of time I have off with them. Probably doesn't help the situation at all. But I currently am taking Nortriptyline. The side effects for these are pretty scary though.
Hi my name is theresa and i have the same thing as you and yes i have memory loss as well so don't feel bad it's just somsthing that happens me i think it's my medicine i take 400 mg a day of topamax and i still suffer from migraines with auras and they can last for days, plu i have seizures as well. so it can get real bad sometimes. i hope that helps you.
I have been suffering from migraines for over five years now.The only good thing out of all the the pain is I've lost 60lbs. I'm also on topamax and amilitrplin. I recently had a terrible migraine and for the first time that I know of I sufffered amnesia. My neighbor called my husband at work because she saw me wandering around outside. My husband took me to the hospital, my blood pressure was 75/43 and I was sevevely dehydrated. Since then my Dr. has ordered an EEG which came back abnormal and today I had a MRI of my brain. I am 55 and sick and tired of these migraines making me feel sick and tired all the time. They have change my life!I have no memory of my husband taking me to the hospital, the time there, or returninig home. I basically have very little memory of the entire day. Very scary!
I do not get awful headaches, just annoying ones. Last year I had aphasia and inability to read for 5 min. with a bad headaches, terrible blurred vision. I thought I had a TIA. I went to a cardiologist due to high blood pressure. He put me on metapropral and I hadn't had a headache in 11 months, that was bad, once my blood pressure was down. I was forced to quit my stressful job as a nurse by my boss. Then a few weeks ago I had amnesia for 20 min (terrifying) and my husband took me to a stroke center and I was diagnosed with migraines. I see a neuro next week. I do have a density near the vision center in my brain that swells during these episodes on the CAT scan. ? anurysm or had vascular bundle. I was in a accident 32 yrs ago and severe facial injuries and headaches. I don't know what to expect in the future,but am afraid of another amnesia attack and memory loss. Anyone with amnesia can understand. I am 55.
I had my first migraine when I was 8 as I grew older they became more frequent until 2001 was the year the migraine never went away. Severe migraine pain lasted 2 years and it has been 10 years that I have a migraine/headache every day. I have times when I lose a day, or hours, at times my speech is slurred and I can't walk a straight line. Family and friends have told me I act like I'm drunk or on drugs or having a stroke. My cousin became blind after 10 years with a migraine. Even the Mayo clinic couldn't determine the cause of the migraines or why so much brain damage was occurring. After 15 years of unrelenting pain one morning after her shower she told her nurse she was tired and was going to take a nap. She never woke up and no the doctors still don't know why or how.
One of the neurologists I saw told me he could see where the migraines were happening the area of my brain looked like pin points of light.
When I get a migraine I can remember everything while the migraine is happening, but after its over I don't remember what happened/conversations during the episode. That's been happening for years. My mom has started writing down anything important that happens during a migraine because she knows I won't remember. We did tell my neurologist, and he wasn't concerned.....Hope that helps!
I have had them for 20 years now and in the past 15 or so have taken Imitrex shots at onset. It works 100% of the time. This timeI had well over an hour of work left and a 45 minute drive home.
I couldnt remember the faces of the ppl I worked with, I assumed they were who I thought they were but they didnt look like them... When my street sign appraoched, I thought it sounded familiar, but I wasnt really sure. I took it just in case. When I was telling my husband about my day I couldnt remember a co-workers name and he told me and I kept insisting that it didnt sound right and couldnt have been that. He started telling me why he hadn't made it to Costco and I couldnt figure out what a costco was even after he told me it was a store... and it was a store that you had to be a member of, I asked him if were members of it then why he went there.
I was an sane and coherent as I am now, but I honestly found these words and names foreign.
I am used to the hallucinagen aura's that start the migraine. And I had those... strobes of triangles all around a rainbow... but the forgetfulness was baffling.
I don't always have the memory loss, but it sounds exactly the same when I do have it. I can't say the words I need or can't quite figure things out.
Start with an aura, sometimes confusion and then the headache. Going to sleep for awhile helps, then I have pain in the top of my head when I bend over or cough for a couple of days.
I had an incident while I was driving where I was apparently weaving all over the road. Someone phoned the police and he finally go me to slow down and pull over. WHen he got to the car I had passed out. I came to sometime when the ambulance came and he asked me if he could call my husband or a friend. I took out my phone and couldn't remember how to use it or who to look for.
All rmember is coming to and going in and out of it in the ER. They kept me for several hours and let me just sleep, and released me and told me to see my neurologist ASAP.
The state took away my license to drive for a year. I only got it back because the neurologist said I was O.K. to drive again. That incident was several years ago, and I have been O.K. since.
If you feel one of these strange attackes coming on this is your aura and you need medicine at once to abort the migraine.
After my migraines, I am always mentally foggy and do not track well for at least 8-10 hours later plus I feel like a doll rag.
My son had aura prior to his migraines and it developed into a seizure disorder. He takes topamax now and rarely even has migraines. This was very scary. I don't recall a lot of memory loss after his migraines, but confusion. He had a hard time describing to me his symptoms. He remembers losing vision and hearing. He could hear everything around him but could not speak. If these are actually seizures maybe your meds should be changed or adjusted.
How scary!!! Mine are nothing like seizures and the memory loss was during not after... and it was before i took medicine.
sounds like your sons confusion was natural as there is nothing in the world like the auras... well from my experience, I have never taken drugs.
I suffer from migraines also. It took my neurologist a long time to figure this out but he finally did, thank god!! During the time he was trying to figure something out, he had put me on Topamax because this medicine was supposed to be good for treating headaches and not just seizure disorders. Without a doubt, Topamax is the worse medicine that I have ever had to try. It made me forget things and caused confusion to the point that I could not function normally like I had always been able to. It also caused severe eye pain. I stopped taking Topamax and the forgetfullness stopped and also the confusion. I also had a friend that had a daughter who developed Leukemia and had a stroke due to the Leukemia. Her doctor also tried her on Topamax to prevent seizures. Her daughter also became forgetful, confused, had really slow speech, and it made her head hurt worse. My friend had no idea that it was the Topamax that was making her daughter feel this way until I told her how it made me feel also and she had the doctor take her off of the Topamax and tried her on a different kind of seizure medication and sure enough her daughter improved in her speech tremendously, was not as confused, and had a lot less forgetfullness. In general, her daughter felt so much better. Please be careful and watch your son while he is taking the Topamax...
I totally agree with your comments about Topamax. It is the worst medication out there. It did not help my migraines and I experienced slow speech, memory loss, numbness in hands and feet, and loss of appetite. I thought I was having a stroke.
I refer to Topomax as DOPAMAX - it is the WORST drug I've ever been on. After 2 weeks I was like a mental patient drooling on myself in the corner. It was not something I'd wish on anyone let alone a child!
I felt trapped in my own head. Confused all the time. Couldn't form complete sentences without A LOT of thought, and even then I'd forget what I was trying to say. I lost "Me" in topomax.
Please be very careful with this drug.
It sounds like your migraines are changing, perhaps becoming more severe, since you describe more intense aura's and memory loss. A neurologist who specializes in migraine management would be able to help diagnose and determine whether you need to be on a preventive medication, and whether the triptan is contributing to your loss of memory. I, too, experienced memory loss and confusion when using triptans, and this led my doctor to have me have an MRI of my brain to rule out any other complications, increase my preventive medication, and use a different "rescue" medication other than any of the triptans. My memory is improving, and I no longer experience the confusion that I had before. Regardless of your age, you are experiencing serious symptoms that need to be evaluated by a specialist. Take Care! Lynne
I think they are, infact, changing which bothers me. Mainly b/c Imitrex works SO wonderfully for me. The shot, not the pill so much. I LOVE the shot and I am pretty certain that God's hand was on the guys at Glaxo-welcome when they created it.
The other contributing factor is that I waited a considerably longer time before getting to my shot. Normally I lose spots in my vision and I am running for my drugs, 30 minutes later, headache never came and I have a migraine-hang-over, but I am back to functioning.
I don't have them often, I dug up last years' calendar to discover it was last May that I had my last one. 2-3 a year, not bad! No need to be placed on a preventative.
And I have contacted my Dr. I don't want an MRI.
I've had migraines with Aura's since 1996. For the past 5 months I've had a non-stop migraine & the doctors can't find out why. But I've had memory loss too. It's really freaked me out. I just thought the memory loss was due to the stress of the migraines but after reading all your post I think its because of the migraines. The doctors don't think it to much to worry about...at least thats the feeling I get. I have been taking Zomig lately for my migraines. It seems to work best right now. I've tried Imitrex shots, nasal spray & pills, Maxalt, DHE injections & lots of others drugsover the years. They work for a while then just seem to stop working after a while. I'm going to do more research on memory loss & migraines now. Good luck to all of you.
ok in your case I don't know HOW you are dealing with that. I took Wygraine for the first few years not knowing that it didn't work for me, I would lie in severe pain and sensory overload on EVERY sense, for 3 straight days.... we used to tease that is it weren't for medicine we would have jumped out a window. I can't say that I wouldnt if I had such agonizing pain as long as you have.
I am SOOOOO sorry for you!!! I really pray that you find something that works for you! Hang in there, you have a strength I can't even fathom. Keep us updated and PLEASE let us know when it finally goes away! wow, you poor thing. :-(( >Hugz<
I'm sorry you have to deal with that. I wouldn't wish migraines on my worst enemy. I also have a non-stop baseline migraine and experience two to three severe spikes each day. I was ordered to stay away from tryptans (Imitrex, Maxalt, etc.), over-the-counter pain meds (Tylenol, Advil, etc.), and change my diet to prevent migraine triggers. The rescue meds were thought to be causing rebound headaches. I found the book "Heal Your Headache: The 1-2-3 Program for Taking Charge of Your Pain" by Buchholz to be helpful. I still have daily severe migraines, but they subsided for a while when I initially began using the migraine diet described in Buchholz's book.
I have tried all of the different migraine meds out there, but none worked for very long before losing effectiveness. I currently take anti-seizure drugs (Lamictal) and a calcium channel blocker. The combination seems to be helping.
My doctors also discounted the memory loss.
I too have multiple migraines a day, day after day and have for two years now. They got so bad that I had to be put on Morphine constantly, which was not fun at all. I am now on Migranal nasal spray, it is a dihydroergotamine medicine, and I am on Nortriptyline, which is a preventive type medicine for migraines, and I don't have migraines near as often as I was having them. The migranal has done wonders for me, you might consider trying it yourself.
Migraine with Aura patients (Hemiplegic Migraines) should NOT take vasoconstrictors, EVER. That includes all of the meds for preventing migraine attacks. Please don't take Imitrex, Zomig, or anything else in the vasoconstrictor category. If your doctor insists, find another doctor. There is plenty of research re MWA and NO vasoconstrictors. Good Luck!!
MODERATOR'S NOTE: Some of this information is incorrect. Please see the reply posted to it.
Migraine with Aura isn't necessarily hemiplegic Migraine. In the category of Migraine with aura, there's Migraine with aura, basilar-type Migraine, Sporadic Hemiplegic Migraine, and Familial Hemiplegic Migraine.
Most doctors agree that triptan and ergotamine ABORTIVES shouldn't be used for basilar or hemiplegic Migraine. There is no such waring about "regular" Migraine with aura.
Please note also that avoiding vasoconstrictors does not mean most PREVENTIVE medications.
Hope this clarifies a few things,
Hi Teri: Sorry I didn't qualify my HA flares: It is FMH - diagnosed at age 25. Did well to age 50 (menopause). Then the HA's and accompanying prolonged auras started coming with increasing frequency, without warning. Anytime throughout day, I can all of a sudden have trouble walking or talking, with or without HA. With FMH flare, I always have Left Parietal HA, left sided paresis, difficulty speaking and walking. Now seeing endocrinologist because all my brain hormones were 'off' during hospitalization 3 weeks ago. So far, he believes brain is reacting to FMH episode. Awaiting new lab results.
I did have a small stroke in Feb 2008 confirmed by MRI. Left me with speech, balance and vision residuals; although docs are thinking there is cerebellar involvement that can't be seen or reproduced
Interested in speaking with anyone with FMH; especially regarding neurologists specializing in same.
I don't really know of anyone who specializes specifically in FHM, but I know some really great specialists who are quite good with treating FHM.
For speaking with others with FHM, you might want to join our discussion forum. You'll need to register again once there because it's a separate membership database, but you can use the same member name, email address, and password that you used here. You can find our forum at http://forums.healthcentral.com/discussion/migraine/forums.
I have a rare complicated migraine disorder called familial hemiplegic migraine, so my experience is much different than yours. However, I wanted to share a few of my experiences with migraine-related memory loss, some of which are analogous to your experience:
During a migraine, I talk in what my husband calls "jibberish." He thinks it is funny; I don't. It's embarrassing. During these episodes, I am confident that I know what I am saying, but the words are all wrong and make no sense. For example, I call the dishwasher a washing machine. When telling a story, I call people and places by the wrong names. My sentences are all jumbled. I once called my shoes a sled (?). Odd, I know.
I have put the milk in the cabinet instead of the refrigerator. My husband will watch me do it, and ask me where I put the milk. I respond "the refrigerator." He points to the cabinet and says, "what is this?" I respond "the refrigerator." He says, "isn't a refrigerator supposed to be cold?" I respond "I don't know." Then he points to the refrigerator and asks what it is. Only then do I realize that I had made a mistake about where I put the milk, but I still can't figure out the correct words.
I leave keys in the front door, but only during a migraine.
I let the dog out in the backyard and immediately forget where she is--again, only during a migraine.
While working, attending a lecture or meeting, or even in general conversations, I lose time and have no recollection of what has happened, what I missed, or how much time has elapsed. The only times someone notices is if I stop talking mid-sentence, do not respond to people, or stop eating. Otherwise, to those around me, I appear perfectly normal and alert during the entire episode.
Once, I had a weird "black-out" in the kitchen. My husband heard a crash from the other room, and found me standing over the dishwasher reaching for a broken glass. I had no idea what had happened.
I become very unsteady on my feet, but think I'm fine and keep working until I end up on the ground.
One scary incident was when an aura hit while I was downtown. I knew that a migraine was coming, so I got in my car to drove home (a 10 minute drive). It was the scariest thing I have ever done. I came to an intersection with a red light--I knew it was red--I knew that red meant something special--but I could not remember what it meant--and by the time I figured out that it meant to stop, my foot did not move, and I flew through the intersection. Thankfully, no other cars were around. This happened two more times. I became very unsettled. I knew I had to pull over and stop the car, but I couldn't figure out how to do it. Where was the break? How do you make a car stop? I couldn't remember. I experienced a sort of tunnel-vision; I couldn't see the cars on the side of the road, and could not see the lines in the road. Somehow, I was able to find my street. My only way to describe it was that my brain had completely lost control of my body. After that, I made the decision to no longer drive because I refuse to put others at risk because of my unpredictable migraines. I have not driven in over 2 years.
When I relayed this information to my doctors, they thought I was crazy and exaggerating. The ones who believed me discounted the episodes as minor and not important to the diagnosis or treatment.
Obviously, this is much, much more severe than your symptoms. But I want to assure you that my memory loss is only temporary. Sometimes it lasts longer than others, but eventually everything comes back to normal.
WOw... that was right on target! I hope mine isn't becoming like yours! But YES... completely confident of what I was saying but unable to figure out what to do with things in front of me. I will never again drive during a migraine. I now carry my med with me too.
Were they able to tell anything wrong with you by MRI? My doctor just ordered an MRI for me on Tuesday.
No one I have talked to understands that a migraine could have made me so ditzy and clueless.... In-laws think that I might have had a mini-stroke. not to be confused with a stroke. A mini-stroke is much different from what I have read.
Definitely get the MRI. There are many things that can cause these bizarre symptoms, so let the doctors run any and all diagnostic tests that they may find necessary. You don't want them to miss anything.
As for me, all of my MRI's (both normal and contrast) have been clean. So have my CAT scans, EEG, and EKG. Since there is no (as doctors put it) "organic" proof behind my symptoms, the doctors initially thought I was making it up. They sent me to a psychiatrist (at that point, I was willing to try anything to alleviate the symptoms), but she ruled out any psychological causes (including conversion disorder) within the first few sessions. Then, the diagnosis again fell back upon the neurologists (I did not know that I should have been seeing a headache specialist at the time). It took eleven months to get even the preliminary diagnosis of Complicated Migraine (I guess they wanted to eliminate any other possible problem before settling on Migraine). Months later, my symptoms were narrowed down to either Basilar Migraine or Familial Hemiplegic Migraine. Only in the last six months did the diagnosis finally point to FHM.
I have new contrast MRI's done ever 12 months to make sure no lesions or tumors have formed, but so far, the scans have remained clean.
As for a mini-stroke, I assume you are talking about a TIA. My doctors never found any evidence of TIA in my case, but that is not surprising since my symptoms are recurring. Ask your doctor about it when you go in for the MRI.
Check back in after you get the results.
Reading your comments was like wow, that's exactly what is happening to me. My diagnosis is chronic intractable complicated migraine, most of the time is hemiplegic on the ritgh side, but ocasionaly I may have it only in the left side or in both. I have 2 , 3 attacks a weeks in a good month, 3 to 4 in a bad one. I have to go on dissability because i was unable to work anymore, my memory was severely afected, and to prove it I went to a neuropsychologist and they did a buch of test, including a EkG. I find out I was very smart, my memory was very bad and I had ADHD, wich I guess I learn to deal with fine until the onset of my migraine headaches 5 years ago. If the pain makes me be in a fog and it is dificult to focus... anyway the most frustrating thing besides the language and speech dificulties (I was an interpreter and translator )is that I forget what I was going to do in the kitchen in my way to it, so I come back to the living room, but I can't remember what I was supose to do in the living roon anyway. If I have a bad day forget about dinner, I will forget half the ingredients or put it two times with unforgetable culinary dissasters. I joke with my mother in law, when she gets scare about little memory lapses, about my many senior moments.
Thank you so much for sharing that. You explained so well what I have trouble putting into words. I too have FHM, my cousin also has it. It is so hard to explain to people what it is like. Everyone looks at me like I am crazy. Thank you it means a lot to know that someone else understands.
My aura's have gotten worse as I have gotten older. As a child I remember the sensation of feeling like something large was between my thumb and finger when there wasn't anything there and sound pattern. As an adult is has been the numbing and memory loss and loss of depth perception. And, I have been driving and had to pull over and sit and cry (for not reason) until the aura passes and that is scary. My family doesn't understand the frustration of the memory loss part and it is hard when you are made fun of. That's how they cope with what they don't understand. Now that they are happening more, he is afraid of stroke and he comes from a family of strokes. You call a miagraine, a brush or can't recall your childs name or your look at those around you in a lost stare. The reality is, you have to take care of yourself, journal what is happening and find the right Neuroligist who will listen. It makes me so mad to have someone tell me I didn't experience something or play it down when it is changing my life. Good luck
I was just diagnosed with Hemiplegic Migraines at age 30. I've been suffering from migraines since childhood. Triptans wouldn't work, I felt like worse after taking Imatrex, resulting in having to take off work as the symptoms surrounding the episodes were so intense.
At this point I'm not even sure when the "amnesia" like symptoms started but I do know that the severity and frequency has changed my quality of life greatly. This year I wound up in various ERs each time to only be 1) interrogated then discharged without any treatment, 2) injected with improper meds. then discharged when I could barely stand up to be transfered to a wheelchair.
I lose time i.e. a friend calls "I'll be your place in an hour." Cell phone rings and its them saying they're outside my place but to me only few minutes went by or I'm still in the same spot I was in when they first called. At social gatherings, I get mass corrected for using the wrong word, people are offended because I will space out in mid-conversation forgetting the subject being discussed. Some people are upset with me for stuff that happened during my time loss/amnesia.
I have put the milk on top of the fridge, random objects in the wrong place, find myself in a room not remembering why I'm in there. Does it get worse over time?
"Although most people with familial hemiplegic migraine recover completely between episodes, neurological symptoms such as memory loss and problems with attention can last for weeks or months."
After years of misdiagnoses, improper medications and worse, I'm being treating by a Nuero who specializes in Migraine conditions. I still have a ton of questions. I've been unable to work, this started as medical leave for treatment of a condition that is now thought to be a misdiagnoses that may of made the episodes worse. Episodes were happening back to back, the last one was so severe I was hospitalized for five days then sent to a physical rehab to regain better muscle & nerve functioning. Days on an IV along with pain meds made the weakness reside longer.
i am 48 yrs old and i began having migrain when i was about six yrs old had know idear what an aura was but what would happen my parent would take me in the emergency room and the dr. will give me a shot of codine or morphine and it was as if they knew be name and pain very bad pain i would be crying about twenty five yrs ago i enter a drug treatment program and have been in about 8 since but doing my third center i began having blurr vision and could not see all five fingers on one hand and thats when i found out i was having an aura and was givin wigrain the instructions was to take two during the aura and i would not exsperience the pain i had no memory loss or any thing like that but i am a recovering addict 17 yrs clean and had not had a migrain in about twenty years but drink alot of caffine often
I've had migraines for 20 years i had such a bad attack i lost almost a full week! I've usually get anywhere from a minute or two to a few hours every REALLY bad migraine. For me it's just normal, plus none of my Dr.s thought it to be too concerned but i also had other tests to rule out the obvious other causes. good luck hope it helped!
Hello, and welcome to MyMigraineConnection.com!
Hello, and welcome to MyMigraineConnection.com!
We are so glad you found us. But the only way to know for sure if you are not suffering from something more serious is to see a doctor. We can all share our stories and experiences here, but that is not that same as having a medical professional examine us.
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My doctor tells me that the aura is now being reconsidered and symptoms like memory loss may indicate a tiny seizure of some sort. I have no pain with my "migraines"...only the neurological symptoms. Maybe this helps to point in a new direction. Still not much to do about it. Does the memory loss occur after you recover or do you find yourself in places with no memory of how you got there?
I get migraines and headaches frequently and experience memory loss- words I know, names, simple things- they come back to me later. But once after a surgery, I lost like a week and forgot my niece and nephews names. I would even drive myself to the er whom Im sure thought I was crazy but I knew I needed help but couldnt explain it. One Dr. was real smug with me treated me like a drug seeker until my whole family showed up and explained what was going on. After that I decided not to drive anymore until we could figure it out. The memory came back, it was like coming out of a fog, my nuero didn't seem to concerned...I switched nueros. I still have memory loss of small things and we hope to figure it out. But it is scary when you are 36 and cannot remember the name of a candle product you just bought yesterday or the street you need to turn on..........
Finding the right doctor is really important! And, many don't know much about migraines yet. Are you near the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago, or another headache clinic? They know things no one else does.
Are you on a statin, by any chance? They cause cognitive issues like this. Since I went off 80 mg of Lipitor, my issues have lessened greatly.
Have you had the nighttime test for small seizures (not epilepsy seizures)?
Neurologists are a weird group of doctors and they know so little. It's a growing field still. The auras leave residues on the brain in the white matter and this shows up on MRI's. Sometimes, they think they are lacunar infarcts and now they believe they are caused by the auras! It's all changing. Some migraines are brain stem issues, some are vascular, optical, electrical, inherited, and they all make us more susceptible to strokes......just a little more info. Get to the right neurologist. One who specializes in migraines, even if you need to go to another city. I iknow how goofy and spacey and unsafe you feel when driving or trying to work or do anything when they are happening. I tried Topomax (also used for seizures) for a few months when I had aura everyday on February. It stopped things for a long time and I've really only had a few auras in the last few years...a BIG improvement. But, Topomax is heavy-duty medicine and I tqalked and felt really weird for the first three weeks and never really felt right while on it. But it's helped. It's just a field that is being investigated for the first time. Once they found a "migraine" gene, and stopped thinking it was just for type A personalities, mostly for women, then the scientists started looking into it more seriously.
Now, I take hot cayenne pepper, a tiny bit on the tip of my little finger, and put a tiny bit under my tongue. It constricts the blood vessels and sometimes stops the aura. Try it. But, also get to a good doctor who is willing to find out whether you are having a tiny seizure. That's more important. It sounds to me as though that is partly what is happening. The amnesia is also a clue. Distortions in sense of time, etc.
Hello beadandelion! Welcome to MMC. If you haven't been to our forums yet, please check them out!
First, I need to address this post by Wendy:
"Finding the right doctor is really important! And, many don't know much about migraines yet. Are you near the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago, or another headache clinic? They know things no one else does.
Now, I take hot cayenne pepper, a tiny bit on the tip of my little finger, and put a tiny bit under my tongue. It constricts the blood vessels and sometimes stops the aura. Try it. But, also get to a good doctor who is willing to find out whether you are having a tiny seizure. That's more important. It sounds to me as though that is partly what is happening. The amnesia is also a clue. Distortions in sense of time, etc."
Auras do NOT leave residue on the brain. Individuals with migraine occuring once to twice a week (and on up) are at risk for silent brain infracts...i.e., brain damage that isn't known (yet) to cause any problems. Thickening of the cerebral cortex is also known to happen in individuals with persistent migraines, though it is unclear if this is a change in the brain matter over time of suffering or if it is already present and accounts for migrainuers' sensitivities precluding the onset of physical attacks as a child or adolescent or adult. Migraines are a neurological disorder caused by numerous chemical changes in the brain, set off by a trigger or a series of trigger events, i.e., outside stimuli. Blood vessels' dilation are a symptom of attacks, leading to the pain we feel during the pain phase because they become inflamed and irritate the nerves in the covering of the brain. The exact cause of migraine is not clearly understood, and genetics plays a factor in whether many of us will be susceptible to migraines or not, but it IS NOT a blood vessel disorder. The only genes discovered that have been implicated in the role of migraine is for the subtype Familial Hemiplegic Migraine. Though recently there has been discussion over the genetics that makes sufferers of MWA more likely to have blood coagulation problems or heart problems leading to stroke. If you have migraine and one of yoru parents does too, your risk for inheriting it was 50%. Adding your other migraining parent, and your chance rose to 75%.
Migraines called Basilar-artery type are a specific subgroup of migraine with definitive clinical features, occuring in women who are of adolescent age, though it can occur up through adulthood. These migraines are so called due to the fact that aura symptoms seem to originate in the brainstem as opposed to the occipital cortex in what is called classic migraine or (MWA=Migraine With Aura). It's argued how the brainstem plays a role in these migraines which is why it is a "type". Aura can last anywhere from a few seconds to an hour, and for some of us, it's present 24/7.
Familial Hemiplegic Migraine is a type of MWA in which symptoms can include paralysis on one side of the body, confusion, numbness, or difficulty speaking. It is the only MWA subtype that includes half-sided paralysis or numbness as an identifying feature. These migraines, out of all the subtypes, will mimic stroke features and should ALWAYS be taken seriously.
As for your question about "amnesia" during attacks, it really needs to be checked out by your migraine doctor or neurologist. I too have amnesia during attacks, and a lot of us here just drop names like they are blocks. I can't tell you how many times I've stared at people, unable to recognize them, during an attack. Or how many times I will call my mom and forget I did it, only to call her a few hours later. Sometimes my words come out in an alien language. I have blacked out before and become confused. Whether these are mini-strokes or not, only a doctor can tell you. TIAs won't show up on MRI as a general rule, but MWA does put its sufferer at a slightly increased risk for stroke, and having a TIA is sometimes looked at as a precursor to ischemia.
Migraine of any type should be investigated. Silent brain infarcts are a good argument for going on preventative meds, as is blacking out or become dizzy (which I experience too). ANY TIME you experience a new symptom with your migraines you need to check in with the doctor. That's what led me to seek out a migraine specialist; I began having severe vertigo attacks, clumsiness, and speech difficulties in my late 20s. Now I have persistent migraine aura and spastic arteries, and I'm high risk for stroke. I'm still looking for the right meds to help control my problems.
Good luck - I sincerely urge you to join our community and find a good doctor!
Great response to my response. I'm always open to new info. I went to Mayo Clinic where I was given an MRI for dementia due to my symtoms. The symptoms turned out to be caused by Lipitor but they also found four tiny pin dots that they called Lacunar Infarcts (small strokes in the tiniest part of the blood vessel tree veins in the brain). Then, further testing at Northwestern Memorial University Hospital Stoke Dept. said the tiny pin dots were "UBO's"..."Unidentified Bright Spots"....caught on the newest MRI technonlogy but were NOT infarcts. The two top neurologists at NW BOTH said NOT INFARCTS. Mayo is revisiting their diagnosis right now. REcently, my parents' neurologist at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla told asked me, when I told him I had "UBO's", do you have migraine with aura? I said I have aura. He said aura is now know to cause what they call UBO's. That is why I said what I said. I have no idea which group is correct since I ahven't been gback to Mayo or NW to ask, but I mention it as a point for why it's important to check it out with specialists. The news is coming out every day and it's changing. Some of these stories don't sound like migraines to me.....Wendy
WOW.. that is a lot of great info! Im not on statins... the aura is only the first hour and I generally get my shot in me before it grows to the headache. I want to know more about the stuff the aura leaves on the white tissue in the brain!!! Awaiting the MRI results this very moment.... I should know SOMETHING in the next 4 hours. >fingers crossed<
It really is a new field, huh.. thanks for that correction and extra info. I did join, but this one post has kept me pretty busy. Thanks for the invite!
I think it's interesting that your doctor told you that! The problem I have with that line of thinking is that ANYONE with migraine might or might not have lesions...Not just with auras, though it is more likely to occur with MWA. Of course, I am not a doctor, but you are right, anything like that needs to be checked out! If not infarcts, then why call them UBOs? I'm just being curious here. SBIs aren't necessarily a result of stroke, just white spots on the brain...Wish I could pick those doctors' heads! I have persistent aura and have had it for over a year now. I have had aura since I was 11 or so, but my last MRI came back clean, thankfully. It makes me wonder sometimes how I have gotten through thus far with a clean scan, I have the PMA and migraines almost every day of the month, every month. In the past two months I haven't had a single days' break, even for more than a few hours. It's worrying me like mad.
I think this is an excellent article about lesions on the brain and migraine:
Keep looking around here....There are some awesome articles about anything and everything!
Hope you've had good news since you posted last!
I only get the aura (no pain, just the neurological symptoms), and it can last as long as 8 days! Usually only lasts for a few days, unless I can get it stopped, with meds or something else, very early on. It's a horrible way to spend several days, since you really cannot drive, read, watch TV, work or anything! And, now, because I know there may be damage going on in my brain. It's not contemporaneous with tiny strokes, aaccoding to Mayo, but it still freaks me out.
I have recently been hearing about the white matter issue and aura. No more other info for you on that, I'm afraid. I was totally shocked when I got the news from NW because I lived for nine months wtih Mayo's diagnosis while on 80 mg. oif Lipitor (which totally disabled my body and mind), thinking I had a small vessel disease and had only a horrible future to look forwrad to. NW told mem the new MRI's were so iltra-sensitive that they were finding things no one had ever seen before, couldn't really disgnose (hence, the term UBO) much less treat for, BUT, they were absolutely certain the UBO's were NOT tiny strokes. I had heard about certain migraines showing up as white pots and certain other migraines causing thicker cortical matter, but this is apparently something different. My suggestion is that you set some google alerts about it, so you will be notified of any newly published articles. Remember, the migraine specialist doctors always know about these things YEARS before the research gets published. For instance, I heard about aspirin for strokes and heart attacks, from a doctor friend, in 1970, but it wasn't found in the press until at least ten years later, after more studies were done, and it's use is still being researched, to determine who it best serves, how much to take, and whether it even works for you (there is now a test to see whether aspirin will reduce inflammation in you, specifically. I guess it's a genomic thing).
I knew that having migraines with aura, or without aura, was bad news, when I first started filling out my own health insurance forms, and it was one of a few questions asked. The insurance companies knew it was related to strokes from their data long before we were ever told anything. It was always dismissed by the public, and most internists, as the problem of Type A personalities, who couldn't let themselves stop work and relax, so they got a "sick headache" on weekends and holidays to "allow" themselves some downtime. I'm a little bitter, I know.
Let me know what you find out. Wendy
I originally had aura with headache but only once, then again several years later. I saw a dr. that put me on fiorinal, which I took only when I felt one coming on. It worked but after a couple migranes I never had headache again. One day years later I woke up so dizzy I couldn't lift my head off the pillow. I also noticed whenever I was in a darkened place I felt dizzy. This continued untill I saw the neurologist and had many tests by him and a dr. specializing in vertigo. It was determined I was having headache free migranes and I was put on paxil. I found this strange but it works well, and I know because if I don't take it for a couple days the vertigo is back. Anyone with these symptoms might ask about paxil.
i just wrote it sorry. i actually suffer from server memorie loss every time i have a medium to major migraine. i do have them every day but they mainly effect my vision. with the memorie loss it can be so fustrating and for a while very depressing. i can loose from 1 day up to a weeks memorie. or long term memorie. the key is to inform partners, family and friends of your condition and how senitive you are. there is nothing worst than someone rolling there eyes and saying "you have told me this so many times" it is important that you control a nuturing enviroment as you know stressfull it is the worst thing and this is something you don't need but unless you voice it poeple will never know what you are dealing with. keep with it and try everything you can. I have suffered for 8 years. i am blessed to have a 19 year old son that helpls with my 8 years old son as i am now a sole parent and both are very aware of how and when i need my quiet time and remember time gently. be gental on yourself this to shall pass once you are able to set up routines that work around your condition. all the best luck with you life. it does get better though for me it has not gone away, i have just made a life and have family and friends whom understand once i explained which was at first very embarressing but was to the betterment for all concerned. from australia. ta
i am so sorry i actually only read the first story. so to all of you out there i bow down my hat. i live in australia so a lot of the drugs you get over seas you may not get here. right now we are trying epallim, 1000mg per day which kind of helps and veracaps which thins the blood the only problem is that you can sleep 14 hours per day easy and still be so tied and if you have low blood pressure as i do it is a bit of a health problem but it is that or dealing with the daily sight, pain or hospital again. MRI's are good they can show up stuff for some people for me nothing and ECG's as i have had siezures from my migraines but ask your doctor for them as well. ask your doctor as sometimes when you vague out it could be a mild siezure and should be treated like epiypsy sometimes not always though but it has been known to happen to people who suffer severe migraines on a regular basis.siezures are a number one for major memorie loss that lasts for days to a week or so, some doctors say yes some say no, just demand it. you live with it not them so be strong. the only other thing is eat the right things live a good life and laugh and smile as much as you can. my heart goes out to all you other people. unless a person see's how much pain we suffer they have no idea it is only then that it really hits them that this is a conidition though painful but also effects most of our everyday life in a kind of way. i always carry around a tablet which is the closest to morphine and also codine and imagrain and my ID at all times just in case. 2 asprin in morn and 2 in evening so i know all of you out there know what it is like. to the woman who's husband has patience and also makes her see the funny side then good. this is whom we are and it is not cancer to tip toe around it is something we must always be aware and prepared for. i also don't drive for this reason. i am to scared i could kill someone or myself. well done for seeing that within yourself and not livingf in denial.when i found out that your children can get it threw there parents i live in fear that my children may have to go threw what i do but they support me so much and i will if it ever happens to them 100 per cent but i pray they never have to. i would not wish it on my worst enemy. i am so glad that i found this sight. i will be passing onto my doctor so she can research the medication mentioned and see if it is available here though we have just tried the last that she know's of and as said i have allergies and can only have the dose of 12 year olds and be supervised when i first taken as a few times i have been hospitalised from others. good luck to all of you out there. i am happpy with my life i have the 2 most wonderful children though now a sole parent, wonderful caring friends ready to drop everything even if they are at work to help and a very nuturing mother whom i love dearly and she does me and that is what life is really about. love.
reading all the drugs that you have over there just wow's me as in Australia we don't have that many. i have been seeing hospitals and specialists for years and still nothing but that is just me. i have an allergie to most medication so don't get down you will find the right one. i am in awe with some of the stories i have read and truely respect all of you.
Oh, yes. I was talking to a friend one night about some problems she was having and I felt like I was some where other than in my living room on the phone. When I was done I asked my family if what I'd been saying to Linda had made any sense and they said, "Yes, It was very good advice." By then I had a headache and I could not remember one thing I had said to her, like someone else was giving the advice. Once the HA was over, I still never did remember A word I had said to her. Good thing my family was "evesdropping"! Lily
finally found a great migraine clinic in austalia in a cardiac ward so they can monitor everything going on. this the last resort that we have found as my allergies to all the medications for them are so sever. have heard wonderful things about them all round the world as they do everything ecg brainscan and keep your heart and pulse monitored as some people it can increase or decrease both just as bad. hope this can be of help to someone. i was at the end of hope till my doc found out about this place read up and found out so many benifits. not cheap in anyway. you are looking at in house hospital stay but it is that or how many more years of it. good luck to you all. ta
MRI results: I'm normal. A few loose screws, but all in place still.
Ok yay, but why are they getting so much worse? I was hoping for SOMETHING abnormal so we could possbily FIX it.
The only 2 good notes:
*My deductible is met (over twice.. ugh!)... I can go to the dermatologist now, and a few others I have thought about
*I am almost 30, and I have record of my brain so in 30 years IF I have to have another, there is a definite comparison... prehaps the only thing I am actually happy about through this whole sucky ordeal.
So I just spent a grand for someone to tell me what I have known for the past 20 years. I have aura migraines... just now with memory loss. I am in the wrong career field. ;-)
Well, one thing for sure is that you're crazy or alone in this medical problem. Here's my story in 2001 I was hit from behind as a secondary blow to the back of the head. I suffered a concussion and two months of short term memory loss. Since then I am now wearing glasses and have been suffering from migraines.
When I first started having migraines the doctors tried massage therapy. The therapy seemed to help so I was taking off the meds, about two years later I started to get the migraines again but they were different than before. I was afraid of losing my job or being deem unable to work so I would say anything to anyone about the changes.
When I would felt a headache coming on I would isolate myself from people and would try to take aspirins or pain meds if possible, but if I was to late then I would have to ride out the migraine. I would park my car in a quiet area put on the really dark sunglasses but when I came out of it I was losing track of time. I knew I wasn't sleep or anything but I just could understand what was happening to the time (a 1/2 hour here or 45 min there). So the final straw for me was when I had to take some papers downtown from the far North-side of the city of Chicago and I had to drive on the expressway to get there. The last thing I remember was starting my trip on the expressway and starting to get a migraine on the way. The next thing I remember was that the car I was driving was merging into another lane of traffic almost striking a car in that lane and I had to quickly make adjustments to my driving so I wouldn't hit the car. I hadn't realized that I had driven several miles unaware of what was going on, but that was the defining moment for me to get help with my migraines. When I spoke to my doctor and he thought that I might be having mini seizures with my migraines. This is when he put me on the Topamax as needed for the onset of my migraines.
Recently I was just put back on the Topamax on a daily basis and I had to set up an appointment to see a neurologist as my problems seem to have gotten worse.
So my story continues... but hopefully you're getting help for yours.
I really feel terrible for some of you!
I always felt like diving out a window... but I got them under control before I grew up, Thank The Good Lord!
You should never hide something like this, just be honest with your boss. You CAN NOT be fired for a medical condition that is under a doctor's supervision (in the US), and if you are, count your lucky stars... you are about to be a very very rich person.
I live in Orlando and sitting in a car off some street has got to be safer (though not by much) than sitting in Chicago-land. You might be crazy, also ;-)
This has been a wonderful experience to meet all of you. I am so grateful that I am not alone. You have been wonderful and it is nice to meet people who aren't sitting at their desks saying, "ouch I have a migraine." That is BS. Our migraines render us useless. Those sitting at their desk saying "ouch," have what is called a "headache".... pop a Tylenol.
Thanks everyone. eventually there will be a cure... until then, I spread the love of Imitrex!
I have been a migraine sufferer for the last 26 years, the type which leaves me paralised down one side and with slurred speach. I am having a rise in frequency of the attacks at this present moment in time complete with memory loss, for an hour I could not even remember my husbands name!
The only assurance I can give you is that 2 years ago whilst living in France I was given a complete MIR Scan on my brain and all was clear. I am now looking for a preventative drug so does anyone recommend a particular one for my type of migraine?
Everyone seems to be a fan of Topamax. I have never used it I LOVE Imitrex, but it is not a preventative.
I recommend looking up each med you hear about, google it and read 3-6 different sites about it. Read ALL the pro's and cons and message boards of people using it.
It is important you know what your symptoms are and what alllll the side effects are, beyond that your doctor will direct you to the one that is best. BUT DO NOT trust your doctor to lead you on a blind taste test. Go in with a clear understanding of what each does and share a discussion with your dr on why s/he thinks which ever one is the best choice. Share your concerns and why you might think one is better than the other.
have tried every med available in australia that doctor and nueologist has given and nothing worked. 2 years ago i did have lower back surgery and that helped a bit but then it increased again. my doc took me off all migraine med's as the side effects where so bad and still frequently had them from daily or sometimes i would have for several day's. aura, speech, pain, the right hand side of my body in pain as well. i do have low blood pressure and she said that it doesn't help with them. am seeing an accupuncturist that specilise in migraines for the last 35 years. he saw xrays and saw that where the skull sits was on an angle which puts pressure on the neves. also have found since on B6, magnisium and the BIG one FEVERFEW has helped and have had no problems. i have had MRI's nearly on a yearly basis and they all come out ok. yes we are all a bit crazy. how can't we be when we live a altered life to some others. i tried a lot of herbal and manipulation on my back years ago but to no effect. obviously i was going to the wrong people. maybe get your xray's done. the one you need is upper vert with your mouth open so they can see the angle. even my doc never noticed till this accupuncturist pointed out and was very suprised it has not been picked up prior. i truely hope that i stay free of migraines it is still early day's but this is the first time in 8 years i have been free and i have a lot of hope. good luck to all of you out there. this sight has been so inspiring i wish that i had found it ages ago. also i have had head injures with concusion for up to 4 weeks so maybe all of this and other factors in life have been the cause. am even unsure if i have epilypsy as i have had not even a minor one since i think it was all caused from the migraines. will see. keep the faith. be open about your condition for it is a serious condition that most people can never relate to unless you exlain it. also to the person (sorry memorie, from med for epilysy) about your work. if your boss has a prob as another person quoted you could become quite rich soon. i don't know the law's in the US but i do in Australia and here you are looking at heaps. good luck.
I KNOW WHAT YOUR GOING THROUGH, I'VE BEEN SUFFERING MIGRAINES FOR 7 YEARS NOW. I ALSO GET VERY BAD AURAS. I GET LOSS OF MEMORY, WEAKNESS ON MY LEFT SIDE OF MY BODY, AND I ALSO GET A DROOP ON THE LEFT SIDE OF MY FACE. THIER ARE TIMES I GET UPTO 14 MIGRAINES IN A MONTH. I AM BEING TREATED AT JEFFERSON UNIVERSITY HEADACHE CENTER IN PHILADELPHIA, PA. YOUR NOT ALONE, BUT IT IS VERY SCARRY. LOOK INTO THE HEADACHE CENTER. PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY GO THERE. THEY ARE GREAT WITH THIER PATIENTS. GOD BLESS...
I just found this forum, and I cried as I read the posts. I have had migraine headaches for years and years. I took Imitrix for quite awhile, until at the EMR I found I was allergic to it. Then, I started Zomig.
Last Thursday, I had a slight nagging headache, not sinus, not the usual migraine, but in the back of my head, down slightly along neck muscles. I thought it was a tension headache, and tried to sleep. I have only had aura's once. When I woke for the third or fourth time, I felt weird. My son took me to the EMR because he said I couldn't remember anything. I don't remember that, or the ride to or from, only the doctor's face, the blood pressure reading, and blood drawn. NOTHING else. I was so scared!!
I am 63, but I still have young children at home. My husband is in residential care due to dementia. The EMR people said the memory loss was probably just due to the headache (migraine??). That sounded crazy to me, so I researched and found this site. I will see my regular doctor Monday or Tuesday, and hopefully they will do a complete heart check and brain MRI. I am also a 5 year breast cancer survivor, so I worry about a tumor also. But, all these posts have given me hope. Thank you all for sharing your stories.
Bye for now,
it is an amazing site and as like you was so relived to find it and relalise that my symptoms are so simular to exact to others. support is a major thing. it is a shame you don't have the support of your partner of so many years. i am sole parent one of 19 of 8 but age of kids doesn't matter it is what we have to deal with. make sure that your doctor like so many actually reads this sight as mine is during the holiday's. i have the best and all she can do is what is writen in text but that is not what we live with. when they read of other's experiences it gives them a greater idea of the confusion frustion and how scared we can become with memorie loss and other symptoms. they normally take it on a 1 person diognosis. good luck to you and remember that you have support threw here which i have found. you are not alone. let your family read and close friends so they understand. i actually have huge notes all around my house in case i collape or loose my memorie so the ambulance people know what drugs have been tried what i am allergic to and how the migraines effect me. once i collapsed and was my 8 year old that called ambulance. all he had to do was pass over the information. it helped the hospital many hours of testing so they wrote in a report and mailed as in letter said i would not remember. they were very good but our health system in Australia is fantastic. good luck. nicole
I'm 65, have had ocular migraines w/no headache, thank God, since I was in my 20's.
They always last about 15 minutes. I only get one once or twice a year. Within the past 6 or 8 years, I've also had about an hour of forgetting names of certain people or things. Then I feel fatigued the rest of the day. I've had an MRI, which found nothing unusual, but the doctors I've talked to have never heard of this. ( I also have been taking Lipitor for about 6 or 8 years). But if I stop the Lipitor, what will happen to my cholesterol? I guess I'd rather have the memory loss as long as it's not harmful. So it's nice to hear that others have this same or similar problem.
I get migraine w/aura at least once every two months and a silent migraine in the months in between. Over the last year they have increased in severity and during my aura periods I have been experiencing disorientationing and memory loss. Sometimes it is short and some times it could be long. I was having a silent migraine and trying to fill out paper work when the lady asked me to spell my name and I could not remember. I was driving one time about to pull in to my husband's uncle's driveway when for almost 2 minutes I just sat and when I came through. I could not remember what I was suppose to be doing. There was another time that I was reading a book during another silent migraine and suddenly I had to stop because I did not know what was going on in the book. I had to go back and read 100 pages. My doctor said that my folate was really really low, and to take a supplement for a few months and see if that does not help it. Then she said we would take it from there. We are keeping a close eye on them, because I had febrile seziure when I was little, so she wants to make sure that I do not develop silent seziures. I can honestly say that I have always had the disorientation feeling during my silent migraines. I would walk into the elevator and stop and move to push a button but it would take me a minute to realize what I was doing in the elevator in the first place.
My doctor said that my folate was really really low, and to take a supplement for a few months and see if that does not help it. Then she said we would take it from there. We are keeping a close eye on them, because I had febrile seziure when I was little, so she wants to make sure that I do not develop silent seziures.
What are silent migraines?
What is folate?
What is a febrile seizure?
I just don't know and would like to know from someone who has had it. Thanks!
Hi, I too have had memory loss from my migraines. Sometimes the memory is patchy where I remember bits and pieces but the entire event is a blur, other times I don't recall anything at all and from what my husband tells me happened I am often glad I don't have the memory. At first I was freaked out by it especially when I had it happen on our vacation to Hawaii. I only remember a few days of our week long trip but, we have great pictures. I am getting used to it now. Just make sure you get an MRI every couple of years. My cousin has the same problem and I guess it can start to show some odd spots on your brain after awhile.
Have you ever had an abnormal MRI!?!?!? My dr said you would not see it on the scan. BUT if a tumor or soemthign was causing it, that would be why the MRI would prove useful.
Do explain. And does your cousin have migraines?
Yes, my cousin has migraines. What is seen on the MRI are bright spots much like are seen in people with MS. Just because you have migraines does not mean that you will have these spots but the worse the migraines get the more likely you are to have the spots and it is just good to have a base line to know in the future when they got there. I hope that helps.
Yes, this past weekend. This happened and a few years back. In fact the first time it happened I had imaging of my brain done because I went to the ER and they suspected I might have had a stroke. It was my migraine.
When this happens to me I can't place faces with names. I know I know the people but I can't re-call or be certain (with-in my mind) the name and the person belong together. It is frightening. Part of me knows where I am and who I'm around and another can't be sure ...although the face is familiar and I know the person the name won't come to me...or if it does it sounds foreign and I can't be sure.
I have suffered from Miagraines since I was a child, but wasn't diagnosed until I was 27, when I had the "Mother" of all Auras, I thought I was having a stroke. I had loss my perifial(sp) vision, saw spots and had my body start going numb on one side including my mouth and it traveled to the other side and then I had memory loss. The local doctor didn't think I was having a stroke but sent me to the Hospital & the Neurologist asked me if I had a headache & by that time, I did. His response was "Textbook Miagraine". I had been having 3 days of headache & a short reprive then they were on again. My birthcontrol pills were agrevating a situation I already had. He said 10 yrs ago you would be in here with a stroke because of the pills. So I had to find another form of birthcontrol. But I finally was diagnosed and began treating and trying to understand this THING that goes on in my head. Now I am having aurasonce or twice a week and it is time to change my meds. I call the auras, my stupid attacks, because that is how I feel. Now 2 of my 3 children have miagraines, and I am afraid my grandson has them. Suggestion: 1st go to a Neurologist who understands Miagraines, not all are the same. Educated yourself, find out your triggers and do what your doing and ask others. They know some much more about them now then they did 20 yrs ago.
Birth control triggered my mother. Red wine triggers my sister. Neither trigger me.
When I was 16 years old, I'm now 32 I had my first bad migraine. I lost complete vision in one of my eyes, then as my mother was taking me to the hospital, I was trying to remind her to tell the doctor I was alergic to penicillin, and I couldnt remember what it was. More like I knew what It was, but just couldnt articulate it, I couldnt spell my own last name, or tie my own shoes, when the doctor looked in my eyes with a light, I said it was dark. It was strange, almost stroke like symptoms, I understand exactly what you were feeling when I read your profile. I went without any real migraines for 16 years, and just started having them again. Now, they are very different, (silent migraines) no pain but to me they are worse. Half my face will go numb, or one of my arms, and I get a paniced feeling and I cant sit still, I feel like I'm going to die. I thought I was having a heart attack, or stroke, but after all the tests again they said it was caused by migraines.
Yes! And, the worst one was when I was driving home from work on my regular route, came to a stop sign and had NO idea where I was. I had a sensation of a cloud or something over the right side of my head. I made a guess and turned the wrong way. Nothing looked familiar. I had to use my GPS on my phone to get home. Fortunately I remembered my address.
When I asked my doctor about it he said it was probably a migraine aura.
I do also get very, very confused before I get a migraine... so confused that I forget this means a migraine is coming. I've asked my coworkers to tell me to take my meds when I get this way, but I think they just think its normal for me to be spacey and weird. It definitely interferes with my ability to do a good job because I forget things all the time or I put them in very strange places. I get so frustrated with myself and it causes me a lot of anxiety.
I feel your pain and want to tell you that you are not crazy. I have been a migraine sufferer since age 8 and last June had the worst migraine of my life -- it landed me in the hospital and took me the better part of a month to recover from. Over the last 9 months or so, I have had probably a half dozen episodes where I have experienced a severe migraine and lost track of time. I will be driving home and next thing I know, I'm standing at the kitchen sink. While it is not at all unusual for people to not be able to recount every second of a car trip, it certainly is unusual when you have no memory of the ride home after a certain point in the trip. I am a fourth grade teacher who had a severe migraine during our fall open house night with the parents. I remember the headache getting progressively worse as the day wore on. I don't remember the bulk of the actual time the parents were in the room with me. I have a neurologist who ordered an MRI for this reason and it came back clean. While nothing significant has been found with me to explain this, he suggested that sometimes the brain is under such stress and strain from the actual pain that it becomes difficult for the brain to process and retain any new "information". While it is unusual for memory loss to happen, it's not unheard of. Do a Google search of memory loss & migraine and you'll find articles and other accounts outlining what we both have experienced. Make sure you check with a doctor just to make sure there are no other neurological issues that might be affecting you in this way. Try to keep a journal of this. Try to recount what you were doing a couple of days prior to it. If you know what your migraine triggers are, did you encounter any of them at that time? Try to keep track of what you were doing immediately before and after the amnesia episode, as well. The more information you have the more likely your doctor will be able to help you.
I have just had an episod with 1) visual disturbances 2) aura 3) memory loss 4) pain, three times in two days.
I'm used to the visual field disturbances and the aura. The memory loss only happens severly sometimes. I may not get an attack more than once a year, but then suddenly I may have a whole week of several, even the same day.
I suddenly realize I can't recall my birthdate or my son's name, and then, after a couple of hours or even shorter, I get all my memory back. It is very strange and also frightening.
I am 60 now, a crime investigator, and I have had this problem off and on (mostly off) for twenty years.
I will try to get a professional neurologic evaluation.
If you don't already see a neurologist, get one.If you see a neurologist - talk to him about seizures prefaced by migraine auras... that is what it sounds like you are having.
Amnesia is not common with migraines - it is however common when the migraine is ACTUALLY the aura for a seizure disorder. 40 years experience talking here, I was treated for migraines for almost 20 of those after being told I had outgrown my seizure disorder as an adolescent --- those 'migraines' were actually the aura for the seizures I was unaware I was having. I had a type of seizure known as partial seizures at the time, so it seemed like it was a result of the migraine not the other way around. I ALWAYS had some degree of amnesia after my migraines. After finding a good neuro when the seizure pattern changed (and I realised it was truly a seizure not the aftermath of a migraine) he immediately re-diagnosed me with seizure disorder and explained the amnesia as the aftermath of the actual seizure prefaced by my migraine aura. It can be controlled and helped - you do not have to suffer. Once they know what they are dealing with, with proper meds they are manageable.
What were the SYMPTOMS of you seizures? The MRI came back clean and I didn't feel any different than EVER
My seizure symptoms were alot like those of typical migraines: I was sensitive to heat, light and sound; often accompanied by 'auras' of lights, smells or tastes (I could see pretty lights or cisular patterns, I could smell things I knew were out of season like waermelon or lilacs in the winter, or I would taste things like cinnamon when I hadn't eaten anything with cinnamon in a long time or a metallic taste from plain water); and the feeling of doom that overtook me (alot of seizures are misdiagnosed as panic attacks because of this one thing - if you question any diagnosis at all ALWAYS get a second opinion!) right before the 'migraine' would hit full force. As I mentioned in my earlier post, my 'migraines' were precursors to seizures - thus another type of aura for me. I know not all migraines are like this, but if there is any question, you do need to be checked out by someone else.
Also an MRI only shows muscle structure and problems with that - it doesn't tell doctors ANYTHING about migraines or seizures - you need an EEG to find seizures and even then they don't always show up on cue. It was 5 years into my rediagnosis before we got something conclusive on an ambulatory EEG, but we knew I was having seizures that whole time. My seizures were diagnosed because of who witnessed them and how often (business partner also former EMT - she knew the symptoms). Like migraines, no two people have duplicate types of seizures - but often there are enough similarities thatneurologists can follow the dots to the same conclusion.
Hope this helps!
it was not until i started 8 years ago that i started having mild siezures. now i am on eppillim for them as have knocked out half my front teeth and concusioun for 4 and a half weeks. i have read up so much of on migraines and they can cause them. i do get them on a kind of monthky basis but i get migraines 2 to 3 times a weed or for 4 days on and if lucky 2 days off. we do not have the medication in australia as u do in the US so it is all trial and error and i have major allergies to most medications which have put me out for the count or hospital. it is a side effect,. the best thing is stress free life. good diet. blah you have heard it all as i have yet i stilll get them currently my jaw is out from the last one so am awaiting for the MRI to see if damage if not then i will get i cracked in by my chiro whom i have been seeing for years but wont touch me till he knows, keep the faith, this to shall pass. it has to. with the swine flu every avalaible access is doing there best to combat it so everything else is second best. i live in victorial melbourne australia where it is spreading very fast so i have no problems with that at all. would rather live with siezure which hurt like hell. i was on walking sticks for 3 weeks from on and only eating soup than getting that. just think yes we sufffer but there are poor people out there without food water shelter and ....... i know i doesn't help as i have lost 8 years of memorie and 1 is me giving birth to me wonderful child but we are well they are healthy and have food and medicine . as i said it doesn't sound like much when we suffer and no one can ever understand unless they have migraines but at least our family and friends are safe and there are no funurals. you alway have to see the positive. my mother sent me a wonderful email with photo;s of western culture and poor starving children just wishing they would never wake up threw pain and suffering and it gave me a new out look on life. if i had you email i would send. it is heart breaking to see these people and what we take for granted yes we live in pain. i now have to have morphine tablets everyday and i HATE them so much but at least we live in country's where there is medicine or even just HOPE. sorry just looked at the email before i got on this site and wonder where these inocent children find the strength to keep going the photo;s are very harsh but in a way that touches your heart and that what keeps me going. good luck. everything god knows why but it is a lesson and we can either learn or submerge. i would rather fight though i am going blind and bald i will fight it till the end if kids of 3 or 8 or what ever can do it then i will be ###### if i can't. all love and good wishes to you and be strong and though there are many hard days there are days of beauty as well
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I've had hemi-migraines for 30 years - few and far between until 2003. But the last 2 years have been the most severe symptoms with 2 hospitializations and I lost memory with 3 of those attacks...that really scared me, so back to the doctor and awaiting more testing. You are NOT alone. I am 55 years old, an RN for 30 years and had to go on SSDIB because I am not safe to make quick, life-saving and quality decisions re patient care. NEVER thought this would happen. I've worked all my life. Now not even driving...UGH!! I now God has my back ;)
Hope this helps! I'll let you know as I learn more.
I am so glad that I found this site as I too have had migraines for over 30 yrs! and have experienced some strange and frightning episodes. Sharing information and just knowing there are others who go through the same thing makes one feel not so 'different'.
For years I kept saying that these migraines were affecting my 'brain' in the sense that I can't remember the simplest of things during and afterwards.
Sometimes just before a migraine I become 'dumb', can't remember the names of people I know very well, can't name objects, can't remember for example, when I'm setting the table which side the knife and fork go on...how simple is that to forget? I think I've been doing that particular job for how many years?? LOL
Now working was something else. I could not follow direction or concentrate on a task and that was without the pounding headache! It certainly does not take long for migraines to cause problems in the work place and in our personal life.
These days, because of lack of health insurance, I've had to come off my preventative medications and my meds for during an attack...so I'm back to having at least 2 migraines a week.
The last major attack, I ended up going into hospital by ambulance in the middle of the night. Ended up on the floor of the washroom, throwing up and not able to move my entire right side.
For weeks afterward, my memory was affected big time...and no, I did not take a small stroke or heart attack as that was ruled out.
I have said for a very long time that migraines do affect my memory and I feel as though my brain is not working at full capacity!!
Like I said, there are many things that migraines do to a person and I, personally, feel like it's robbed me more than what meets the eye.
Going around feeling 'stupid' because I can't remember the simplest of things...just feel like one big dummy...but at the same time, I know that I am not a dum person.
I hope some day migraines will be understood far greater than they are today...and think of how far they have come with this nasty desease and I believe they have a long road to go before finding out all the effects of migraine.
I've also spoke to another young lady who works as a vetenarian assistant and she has to leave work because of the 'dum' state she gets into...so we are not alone with memory loss not that helps much.
I'm not sure if it would be considered amenisa or confusion but I have trouble doing simple math problems in my head and spelling. I can't even spell my own name at times.
Also, my short term memory does seem to be somewhat effected for a few days after. Specifically, I have trouble remembering things that happened the week leading up to the migraine.
from the last time i wrote i really believed it would get better but alas no. it has increased to 2 to 3 migraines a week or 4 days on and if lucky 2 days off. what can i say but everything happens for a reason and we are all here to support each other. i have lost almost 8 years of my memorie. which is so sad because i can;t even remember giving birth to my youngest son which was supposted to be such a high light of my life. i can't remember his first day at school anything; my short term is so bad i have to write everything in a diary to remeber or ask my eldest son what i did the day prior. as said we do not have the medication you do in the US. my advice is to google and find the best which i have done and now i wait to see when i can see him even with private medical insurance but the time i heard about him he did an interview on tv so everyone is after him. i am in the top 4 per centage of major suffers so am hoping it wont be to long. my advice is learn as much as you can threw the net. look up doc who specialise and see where they lecture and know what the hell they are talking about. the last person i saw said well just deal with it and hope it goes away. i was sobing and in tears and i am very strong person that never shows my emotions but icould loose my youngest child because of my condition. this does not mean that it will happen to any of you i think it is more of a warning that know who you are seeing and know that they know what they are talking about. when i demanded an MRI he asked why and no way i told him in a lot of country's it is common practice for people who suffer monthly but he agreed but is making me wait 3 months. i am slowly actaully more rapportly looosing my eye sight for people whom suffer so much as i and others it can cause blindness unless it is detected fast and also forms of brain bamage and i am so scared for my youngest child. my eldest whom is 20 knows everything and is very depressed when i have to ask did i feed the family what happened yesterday it is very hard on him i wish i could take such a heavey load of such a young person. sorry i am rammbling. am i said reaseach every doctor you go to see first see if he has written papppers in the subject or traveled overseas for lectures it is all there if you go threw all there information then you will know you have a decent person that understand/ good luck to you all. know united we can over come the isolation we can sometimes feel just by reading these pages. life is a lesson maybe ours is to help support groups in our community to help only we know. never feel sorry for our selves though we do get down. it just makes us stronger.
i have finally had a whole week off migraines. fingers crossed it will last longer.. i would just kill to only have it once a month. now that would be freedom.
I am 41 years old and had my first migrane today. I lost some of my memory for about 15 minutes. I could not remember the names of the people I work with. I also had trouble reading and understanding what I was reading. My headache has not gone away it has gotton better. It really scared me. I went to the emergency room. I got the scans and checked out and they told me it was something they see alot. So I am not that worried, but if it gets worse I will go to a nerologist.
I had never had this experience before but just this past weekend I did. After auras I found that I could just barely remember the names of co-workers and other acquaintances. It seemed to scale with how well I knew people. Those I knew well I could retrieve though with some effort, those I knew less I could not retrieve at all. Even those I could remember often felt somehow 'disattached' from their names. I kind of knew they were right but it didn't really stick. Very strange stuff.
By the way, I have found that drinking large amounts of water often drastically reduces the intensity of my migraines, which I think are often caused (in my case) by mild dehydration.
I have had 'dizziness' on and off for about 4 years and last Fall it got worse. It comes on very suddenly and if I am walking I feel as if I am staggering; I walk a block and then recall nothing until I am a couple of blocks further down the road.
My worse event was New Year's Eve when I was driving home in the afternoon and suddenly I got the flashing lights, etc. and was very confused and could not recall passing a couple of blocks; I had trouble finding my way home. I have not driven since this happened and have had about 12 different tests including, MRI, MRA, carotid artery, 48 hr EEG, stress EKG, etc. etc. and my neurologist thinks that I have silent migraine - I am going back to see him this week and hope that he can advise me what the problem is - I want and need to get back behind the wheel!
Yes. Amnesia can be related to Classic Migraines (the type with auras), on rare occasions.
It is called Transient Global Amnesia. Information is available online about Transient Global Amnesia and it's relationship to migraines.
If you have had amnesia in the past that you think may be related to headaches make an appt with a neurologist specializing in migraines asap.
If you are having amnesia symptoms & confusion happening again....You Must Go to the ER IMMEDIATELY to make sure that you are not having a life threatening conditions more commonly associated with memory loss, such as stroke, aneurysm, heart attack, and epilepsy. Transient Global Amnesia is very rare. More times than not memory loss is related to these more threatening conditions!
I want to tell you all how helpful it has been for me to read your experiences.
I am 57 and experience my first amnesic event at 28. I was in a town centre I knew well and suddenly did not know where I was.
At present I am concerned that the events are not migrainous in nature but alzheimers.
I have had very negative experiences with Topomax at 100mgm daily although continue with the drug at a lower dose since it is the only drug which prevents daily migraines.
I second that thought to everyone who has posted. I just had my first episode of memory loss about two hours ago. One minute I was sitting in my office thinking that things were getting very confusing on my computer and not understanding why things were not making sense and the next I was in our break room drinking my coffee saying to myself -don't talk to anyone until your thoughts are under control. I really don't remember at all walking from my office to the coffee room. My office mate said I was gone about 15 min.
I have suffered from complex migraines about 2 or 3 a year since my early twenties but this year (I am now 42) i have had two really scary ones including the one two hours ago. This one had no warning signs like all of my others and ususally I know what is happeneing to me and can warn others. This one hit hard and fast with no auras or slurred speech and really scared the begeebies out of me. I was very grateful to find this site and realize that others with my condition have experienced similar episodes. Thanks for all your stories. It really is a calming effect to understand that none of us are alone in this.
Yes I have slurred speech, memory loss sometimes for a few hours sometimes days. During this time family and friends who know me tell me I am there but not. That while they know better I seem to be drunk, on street drugs, over medicating myself or having a stoke, or maybe all of the above. But they know that I'm not and are very supportive. Most days I can't walk a straight line, I mix up words in a sentence, call things and people the wrong name, experience nausea, incontinence, blurry vision, a lack of balance. All this without the debilitating pain of a migraine, this condition?, state of mind or lack of mind can last a couple of hours or more often now days or weeks of the symptoms with little migraine pain at all. 7 or 8 years ago a neuroligist said my MRI had pin points of light showing where damage had been done to my brain as a result of the migraines. I was also told this line of thought wasn't one held my many doctors. Doctors very rudely have since informed me that there is nothing, no disease, or condition that causes brain damage that would leave bright spots on an MRI.
I am slowly losing myself, the person I once was and find it very overy whelming and frightining. That bright, nerdy girl with the huge vocabulary, who had a promising career and a quick wit now have days when I can't recall the name for a spoon. My vision is blurry, I can be sitting doing absolutely nothing and feel my bladder leaking. Between 2001 and 2005 I saw 4 internists, 3 neurologists, 3 rheumatologists, pain management specialists who with my personal doctor had me on morphine, Fentenyl patches, methadone, and countless anti seizure drugs all at the same time. I took my self off everything and I now only take occasional pain meds/ Do I still experience pain be yond pain yes. But for me pain medication seems to make the pain worse, more intense. So, I take Ibuprofen a stong neausea medication that thankfully puts me to sleep for 4 to 6 hours. I sometimes use biofeed back and which once in awhile is helpful in blocking some of the pain or if all else fails hibernate in my bedroom for however long it takes to be able to blink, turn my head with feeling it is going to explode.
I have been blessed and have a supportive family. Who believe my pain was and is real and something is physically wrong. I lost a cousin a few years back who had migraines that wouldn't stop. The Mayo clinic was unable to deterine the cause for the migraines or the eventual blindness. One day she told her nurse she was tired and was going to take a nap and just didn't wake up.
I wish that doctors who enjoy cases that make them think outside the box would advertise so me, and you could perhaps find a reason for all the pain we have and are experiencing.
I have lost entire days during a migraine. My family has likened these episodes to it was like you were stoned or the store is open but you weren't there. I have cluster migraines and I haven't found a pain medication that relieves the pain as a result I rarely take anything stronger than Extra Strength Excedrin. I am fortunate I have a very supportive family who know me well.
You are definitely not alone. These types of migraines are called confusional migraines. My family has a history of migraines but I am the first to experience an aura and amnesia. I get headaches regularly but have an actual confusional migrained around every two years. I'm 18 years old and was first diagnosed with these migraines when I was 16 years old. I had migraines up until that point but never to this extent. One day in class I noticed my vision was distorted and my limbs and face were tingling with numbess. I texted my mom to let her know I needed medication but instead she came to school and decided to pull me out for the day because she wanted me to try some new medication for the first time. It was a good thing she did so because within the next hour, I was crying, panting, and vomiting uncontrollably. My mom called my pediatrician who was willing to slip me in for a quick visit and walking into the exam room is the last thing I fully remember. According to my mom and some of the staff, I started to slur my speech and eventually lost all of my speaking abilities. I was mumbling jibberish and was unresponsive to anyone who spoke to me. At that point, my doctor was confused as to what was happening and had me rushed to the ER for a CAT scan because she thought I may have been having a stroke. When they tried to move me, I became combative so my mom gave the staff permission to restrain me to a wheelchair to transport me. I threw up periodically during the whole incident. The CAT scan results showed nothing abnormal in my brain so my pediatrician called a neurologist who decided I had an aura that grew into a confusional migraine. The hospital gave me three different pain injections into my butt and by the time the next hour rolled around, I was responsive again. It turns out confusional migraines aren't exactly common but they do occur and when that happens, the best idea is to report to a hospital as soon as possible because I have yet to find a prescription drug that will fully stop the pain.
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