Can you have Bickerstaff Migraines and Hemiplegic Migraines?

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  • Full Question:

    Can you have baseman Bickerstaff migraines and Hemiplegic migraines? I am diagnosed with Bickerstaff migraines but during a migraine my right leg and arm get weak and I fall a lot usually always to the right. Or semi faint till I hit the ground.  There have been times I have been in the hospital for days unable to walk without a walker. Lisa.


    Full Answer:

    Dear Lisa;


    While it's possible to have both of these forms of Migraine, it's more likely that you've been misdiagnosed.


    Hemiplegic Migraine is the only form of Migraine that causes the true motor weakness that you describe. It has been so many years since the diagnosis of Bickerstaff Migraine has been used that it causes us to wonder how long it's been since your doctor did any continuing education on Migraine and how much he or she truly understands about the disease.

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    The term "baseman Bickerstaff Migraines" is not know to us. However, we do know Bickerstaff Migraine. Bickerstaff Migraine moved to being called basilar artery Migraines many years ago, then was called basilar-type Migraine for many more years. Last year, the name was changed once again to Migraine with brain stem aura. There are many changes and much progress being made in this field, so it's very important to work with a doctor whose knowledge is up-to-date.


    If your doctor isn't keeping up with the field, it may well be time to consult a Migraine and headache specialist. It’s important to note that neurologists aren’t necessarily Migraine and headache specialists. Take a look at the article Migraine and Headache Specialists - What's So Special? If you need help finding a Migraine specialist, check the Find a Health Care Specialist on the ACHE web site.


    Thanks for your question,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert




    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 March 5, 2014.

Published On: March 04, 2014