Basilar Migraine: Triggers, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention

basilar migraine

Reviewed for accuracy by the American Migraine Foundation’s subject matter experts, headache specialists and medical advisers with deep knowledge and training in headache medicine. Each symptom is fully reversible and usually only pop over to these guys lasts up to 60 minutes each. There should not be any motor (weakness or paralysis) or retinal (vision changes or loss in one eye only) symptoms. It can occur at all ages but is more common in adolescence and young adults.

The absence of these people in trials led the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to contraindicate the use of triptans in people with migraines with brainstem aura. Migraine with brainstem aura or MBA (formerly known as basilar migraines) are headaches that start in the lower part of the brain, called the brainstem. They cause symptoms such as dizziness, double vision, and lack of coordination. These changes, called an aura, can happen about 10 minutes to 45 minutes before your head hurts. The headache pain of a basilar migraine often starts on one side of the head and then gradually spreads and gets stronger.

basilar migraine

The nerves rather than the vessels are the cause of aura in migraine with brainstem aura as they are in other migraine types. Bickerstaff suggested that migraine with brainstem aura was more common in adolescent females, however, migraine with brainstem aura is now known to affect all age groups. Migraine with brainstem aura does exhibit the same female predominance seen overall in migraine. When the headache starts, you might feel an intense throbbing or pulsating pain on one or both sides of your head or sometimes at the back of your head. Some of these symptoms can also happen with life-threatening conditions such as stroke. So if you have any symptoms included in the last nine bullet points above and they have not been diagnosed as an MBA, get emergency medical help right away.

Migraine with brainstem aura is one type of migraine with aura, and it can be a frightening head pain disorder. As with other forms of migraine, it is necessary to have an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan. This requires use of that treatment as early as possible when pain is mild, without waiting to learn how extreme the pain will become. Once diagnosed with migraine with brainstem aura, it is important to minimize the frequency of attacks through optimal prevention.

Patients need to understand that compliance with these agents is needed for the resolution of the headache. Because the headache is difficult to manage once it has started, prevention is key. The pharmacist and the primary care clinician should encourage the patient to make changes in lifestyle and avoid the triggers. A headache journal should be kept to track the symptoms and triggers. A healthy diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and stress relief can lower the risk of basilar migraine. Even setting a mealtime is necessary as skipping meals can trigger a basilar migraine.

The aura symptoms come from the brainstem or both sides of the brain. Whether or not the basilar artery to the back of the brain is involved is uncertain. In general, most people with migraine with brainstem aura first experience symptoms in adult life although it can via occur at any age. However, if a first migraine attack develops after 50, it will need further investigation such as an MRI scan, to rule out some other causes. Migraine with brainstem aura occurs in about 1 in 10 people who get migraine with typical visual aura.

Alternative migraine therapies can work alongside traditional treatments to reduce migraine attack frequency and lessen the impact of symptoms. No matter what you call it a headache journal, migraine diary, headache tracker keeping track of your symptoms can be a versatile tool to help better manage your health. It can help you identify patterns over time and help your doctor identify if you are experiencing migraine. It will be crucial to have access to reliable resources on migraine as you work to manage this disease. The American Migraine Foundation offers extensive resources to help you explore your symptoms and treatment options. An acute attack of a the advantage is usually managed with NSAIDs and anti-emetics like prochlorperazine or metoclopramide.

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