Can a Complex Migraine cause seizures to happen?

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Can a Complex Migraine cause seizures to happen? Stacey.


Dear Stacey,

It's difficult to know what you mean by "Complex Migraine" since that's not a specific type of Migraine, but a descriptive term. However, there is a type of seizure that can be triggered by Migraine aura, a Migraine-triggered seizure sometimes referred to as Migralepsy. Here's some basic information from the International Headache Society's International Classification of Headache Disorders, 2nd Edition:

1.5.5 Migraine-triggered seizure

A seizure triggered by a migraine aura.

Diagnostic criteria:

  1. Migraine fulfilling criteria for 1.2 Migraine with aura
  2. A seizure fulfilling diagnostic criteria for one type of epileptic attack occurs during or within 1 hour after a migraine aura

Migraine and epilepsy are prototypical examples of paroxysmal brain disorders. While migraine-like headaches are quite frequently seen in the postictal period (the period between Migraines), sometimes a seizure occurs during or following a migraine attack. This phenomenon, sometimes referred to as migralepsy, has been described in patients with migraine with aura.

If you think you're having seizures, talk with your doctor as soon as possible.

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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