Daughter suffering very bad head pain. Right side paralyzed?

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  • Full Question:

    My daughter suffered a very bad pain in her head. 4 weeks ago she was screaming in pain after 3 days she was admitted to hospital where all tests were done MRI/CT/and lumber puncture and bloods all came back fine after 10 days she was sent home with pain relieve but still had the bad head a week at home and now back in hosp as her right side is paralyzed the week at home she seemed to go down hill had blurred vision and was confused then the paralysis started please can you help she is 40 years old and does not suffer migraines Thanks, June.


    Full Answer:

    Dear June;


    We are very sorry to hear about the recent struggles of your daughter.  It sounds like she has already had a large evaluation with imaging and spinal fluid analysis.  Of course, without seeing her or knowing the details of these tests, we cannot give you any specific guidance.  But there are some things to consider overall.

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    First, it is good that you have gotten her re-evaluated when she developed the weakness on one side.  Sometimes, when neurologic problems begin, the tests can remain normal for a brief time, and so if new problems arise it is always good to take another look. 


    There are a few things you should confirm that her treating doctors have checked and ruled out:  cerebral aneurysm, subarachnoid bleeding, arteriovenous malformation, reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS), and dural sinus thrombosis come to mind, but typically these would be evident on an MRI scan.


    While it is impossible to exclude all of these over the Internet, if all the dangerous stuff has been proven to not exist, then it might be worth consider hemiplegic migraine.  You can read more about this form of migraine in Sporadic and Familial Hemiplegic Migraine - The Basics. Even though she hasn't had migraine before, at 40 years old it is still very possible that she could develop them.


    If everything checks out ok but she continues to have headaches, please consider having her see a headache and migraine expert. 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, see Migraine and Headache Specialist Listings.


    We wish you and your daughter the best and hope that a solution for her is found quickly.


    Good luck,
    David Watson, MD, and Teri Robert


    About Ask the Clinician:

    Dr. David Watson is a UCNS certified migraine and headache specialists and director of the Headache Center at West Virginia University. He and Lead Health Guide Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Watson or more about Teri Robert.


    If you have a question, please click HERE. Accepted questions will be answered by publishing the answers here. Due to the number of questions submitted, no questions will be answered privately, and questions will be accepted only when submitted via THIS FORM. Please do not submit questions via email, private message, or blog comments. Thank you.


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    Please note: We cannot diagnose, suggest specific treatment, or handle emergencies via the Internet. Please do not ask us to diagnose; see your physician for diagnosis. For an overview of how we can help and questions we can and can't answer, please see Seeking Migraine and Headache Diagnoses and Medical Advice.


    We hope you find this general medical and health information useful, but this Q & A is meant to support not replace the professional medical advice you receive from your doctor. For all personal medical and health matters, including decisions about diagnoses, medications and other treatment options, you should always consult your doctor. See full Disclaimer.


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    Last updated November 14, 2014.


Published On: November 14, 2014