Different Migraine aura symptoms - stroke?

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    I have suffered aura migraines for 26 years. At one point I was getting 3-4 a week. I was finally placed on a prophylactic medication which decreased the frequency to 3-4 a month, then a different one that reduced them to approximately one a month. I take Midrin at the onset which has been the only medication that has ever relieved the pain. Yesterday, however, I experienced an entirely different set of symptoms after the end of the aura period. It included extreme confusion, chest and neck pain, weakness and speech impairment. The weakness and speech issues are still present. I am worried that I may have had a stroke. I've been warned of the possibility for some years but really don't know if this is what it was.

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    Can you shed any light on what this may have been and if its possible that it was in fact a migrainous stroke? Nicole.



    Answer:


    Dear Nicole;


    If you haven't already, please call your doctor. Whenever Migraine symptoms are different from your usual ones, you should contact your doctor. Especially with the symptoms you describe, you need to see your doctor to rule out the possibility of stroke. That's something that nobody can do via the Internet.


    In the future, if you have a Migraine that has such unusual symptoms and / or symptoms that could be attributable to a stroke, please call your doctor immediately or go to the emergency room. Statistically, this is more likely to be a Migraine than a stroke, but the only person who can rule out your having a stroke is a doctor who can review your and your family's medical history, discuss your symptoms with you, conduct a complete examination, and possibly order some diagnostic tests.


    Please let us know what you find out?


    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 November 23, 2009.

Published On: November 23, 2009