7/2/07 #5 - Migraines brought on by viral meningitis?

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  • Full Question:

    I started having migraines when I was in my early twenties.  These migraines would come on with an aura, then follow with a terrible headache.  However, these headaches would only occur maybe once every two years.  In 2004, I was diagnosed with viral meningitis, and the test for West Nile infection was neither negative nor positive.  Ever since the meningitis, I have had constant headaches.  In November, 2006, I had another spinal tap done, and the tests were negative for infection, and the pressure was normal.  I've had my eyes checked, and have tried many medications, like Topamax, Depakote, with no help.  I have also taken Vitamin B, Magnesium, etc., with no constant help.  My question is:  Have you heard of patients who have had migraines that were brought on by viral meningitis?  I have had to cut back my work week to three days just to cope with the pain. I am taking Tylenol and Motrin every other day, and every now and then I am taking Darvocet for the pain.  My life is such misery.  I am going to see my third neurologist next month.  Any insight to this would be so much appreciated!  Thank you, Donna.

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    Answer:

    Dear Donna;

    Certainly, infectious causes are very well-known to be associated with migraines and other headaches. So, your situation is no surprise. The International Classification of Headache Disorders has a whole section on headaches caused by infections. I am concerned about taking over-the-counter medications and the opiate frequently, as they can contribute to rebound headaches and make things even worse.  My strongest suggestion would be to seek out the area headache specialist for advice.  Just this week, I’ve had the suspicion that a patient we treated from out of state may have a viral cause from a long time ago for her daily headaches.

     

    Good luck,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert

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Published On: July 02, 2007