05/21/07 #9 - EEG shows "Migraine variant/variance?"

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Full Question:

My EEG shows a "migraine variant/variance". Although I know many people with migraine, I don't know anyone who has this abnormal EEG. Whenever I've mentioned this to Doctors they just kind of nod their heads, knowingly. This is the way it was explained to me: "The abnormal brain wave that you have looks just like that of a person with seizure disorder (epilepsy). The only way we can tell the difference is by your clinical examination. You obviously have symptoms of migraine". I guess it's always kind of bothered me, thinking that maybe I've missed something. I've suffered with intractable migraine for over 20 years. Some periods of time have been fairly normal, but not enough! My concern is, in part, fueled by the fact that I had an Aunt who had epilepsy. Please offer your advice/opinion on this matter. Thank you so much for your time and consideration. Your service here is more valuable than you could ever know! Jane.


Dear Jane;

You are in a (fairly small) group of migraine/headache sufferers who also have EEG findings. Most of the time, there are other factors in the equation like: concussions, meningitis, family history of seizures, high unexplained fevers and many other items. There have been entire books written about the association of migraines with seizures and EEG findings. Usually, if I find such data in a patient, it might lead me to discuss therapy for the migraines with medications that quiet down EEG activity, so-called anticonvulsants. I prefer the term neuromodulating agents, as it is less threatening. All of these have been published on for the treatment of migraines. Perhaps consultation with a migraine expert would be enlightening. Thank you for your kind comment.

Good luck,
John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert

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