005/12/08 #6 - Migraines and testing for aneurysm susceptibility?

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  • Full Question:
    I began suffering from migraines approximately six months after the birth of my first child when I was 23 years of age. I have typical auras prior to the headache pain beginning. Initially, I had some neurological symptoms such as arm numbness/lack of feeling, difficulty with speech, etcetera. I am now 42 years of age and my migraines seem to have settled into a regular pattern where I have an aura and then a headache for a day or two. I sometimes have mild difficulty with speech still but have not had any numbness or lack of feeling in my limbs since I was much younger.


    My father died at age 44 from a brain aneurysm. My mother died at age 71 from a hemorrhagic stroke. Although to my knowledge neither of my parents suffered from migraines I worry that I will be more susceptible to either aneurysms or strokes. Is there any testing that may be done to look for aneurysms susceptibility? Thank you, Lisa.

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    Dear Lisa;


    The easiest way to check for aneurysms is to do a brain MRI with specific sequences that look at the blood vessels using gadolinium contrast. Also, an MRA/V. would look at blood vessel contents very nicely. Hopefully, that would rule out aneurysm. Certainly, strokes do run in families, and hemorrhagic strokes are often associated with out-of-control blood pressure. So, I would want to know what my blood pressure was on a daily basis for starters. Also, I would seek out a Migraine specialiist in case the migraine pattern changes in any way.


    Good luck,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert


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    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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    © Teri Robert and J.C. Krusz, 2008.

    Last updated April 28, 2008.



Published On: April 28, 2008