Saturday, October 25, 2014
Friday, September 12, 2008 ps, Community Member, asks

Q: What could cause inability to speak the words you are thinking in midst of migraine with aura

I think the words I want to say, but, it's like a short-circuit, and when I try to say the words, they don't come out like they are supposed to.  They may come out in part, with missing letters or improper sounds, or the syllables may not be in proper sequence.  In a couple of cases I couldn't get the word out at all.  It's almost like the aura itself, only words with holes in them.  This lasts about as long as the aura, anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes.  It feels like you are in a time warp!


It was scary the first time it happened, because I thought I was having a stroke, but there were no other syptoms, and, of course, I was back to normal after the 15 to 45 minutes it lasted, save the residual pressure part of the headache that continues longer.  Have had three episodes this year.


Side note is I have ELS (Lupus)

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Answers (2)
Eileen Gray, Health Guide
9/25/08 9:25am

Hello Ps!  


Difficulty finding words, or speaking during a Migraine is called aphasia. It is one of the many symptoms Migraineurs can experience as part of an aura. For more information, see this article: Anatomy of a Migraine.  I also get aphasia during a Migraine, so I can relate to your frustration! I get very upset with myself when I can't say the word I am thinking. But, I also know if this starts before the head pain, that it is a warning sign and to take a triptan to try to ward of the headache phase. That said, it's important to talk with your doctor about this to be sure it IS part of your Migraine.  


If you are in need of a doctor to help treat your Migraines, please take a look at our Patient Recommended Migraine Specialists list. You may also be interested in this article: Migraine and Headache Specialists: What's So Special??  


I see you also mentioned Lupus - is your Rheumatologist aware of your Migraines and the aphasia? I always find it best if all my doctors know keep everyone involved on the same page.  


Good Luck!

Eileen Gray    

sacobb, Community Member
9/24/08 9:25pm

I do the same thing when i have a migraine. Been told I suffered mini strokes by a neurologist I was seeing. The pain is so intense it is hard for someone without migraines to know what you are going thru. I pray all headaches stop for everyone. Nice thought...I'll do my best. I try not to go to ER. Can't handle the morphine IV.

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By ps, Community Member— Last Modified: 04/16/14, First Published: 09/12/08