Preventive Meds stopping parts of Hemiplegic Migraine Attack?

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  • Full Question:

    Is it a normal, positive response to medication if you start to only have "parts" of a hemiplegic migraine? For instance, I'm responding well, having lighter attacks, fewer days per week, but oddly, I may just get confused and lose my speech, or limp and feel pressure in my arm- but not all symptoms together anymore. It's great, but very confusing. My doctor called it breaking apart. Thanks, Kim.


    Full Answer:

    Dear Kim;


    "Breaking apart" is a new one to us, but the basic answer to your question is, "Yes." Prophylactic treatments don't always work in a linear fashion. The purpose of prophylactic Migraine treatments is two-fold:

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    • reducing the frequency of your Migraine attacks and
    • reducing the intensity of your Migraine attacks.

    In the process of accomplishing those purposes, these medications can sometimes, strangely enough, prevent certain specific symptoms.


    This is true in all forms of Migraine, not just hemiplegic Migraine. Although hemiplegic Migraine is a less common form of Migraine, it is still the same disease as other forms of Migraine. While people with HM do have some different symptoms and, in the opinion of some doctors, shouldn't take the "regular" Migraine abortive treatments such as triptans and ergotamines, it isn't productive for those people to separate themselves from the rest of the Migraine community because there is so much that applies to the community as a whole.


    Good luck,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert



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    About Ask the Clinician:

    Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and  Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and  Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert.


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    Last updated August 5, 2013.

Published On: August 05, 2013