Understanding Hemiplegic migraine


Before understanding a Hemiplegic Migraine, one must understand the fact that Migraine attacks are episodic manifestations of a genetic neurological disease and that Migraine can be present in a variety of ways. Hemiplegic Migraine is a rare form of the disease migraine, which has been made more confusing by its two variations: Familial Hemiplegic Migraine (FHM) and Sporadic Hemiplegic Migraine (SHM). Commonly, both FHM and SHM begin in childhood and cease during adult years. Diagnosing them can be difficult as the symptoms are also indicative of vascular disease and can be confused with stroke, epilepsy, or other conditions. A full neurological work up and careful review of medical history and symptoms are important for ruling out other causes and confirm a diagnosis of FHM or SHM. A study of family medical history is especially helpful in diagnosing FHM.

Learning The Symptoms of FHM and SHM -

FHM and SHM have been found to have common symptoms, which will differ among different Migraineurs. The difference between these two is that FHM can be traced back in the family history and has been linked to mutations of specific genes on 1 and 19 chromosomes whereas SHM is FHM without the familial connection and without that particular genetic mutation.

Some symptoms of Hemiplegic Migraine are episodes of prolonged aura that continue for several days or weeks, hemiplegia that is paralysis on one side of the body and fever. Meningismus that is symptoms of meningitis without the actual illness and accompanying inflammation is also one of the observed symptoms. Impaired consciousness ranging from confusion to profound coma, headache, which may or may not begin before the hemiplegia, Ataxia (defective muscle coordination are some other very serious symptoms. One may also suffer from Nausea and/or vomiting, Phonophobia and/or photophobia.

Treatment of FHM and SHM:
The treatment options of Hemiplegic Migraine are limited and the treatment can be challenging. There are a large number of symptoms which makes it difficult to treat. It is absolutely necessary for those who suffer from Hemiplegic Migraines absolutely educate themselves about their disease and treatment. It is very common to need to seek the care of an excellent Migraine specialist with an established track record of treating Hemiplegic Migraine.

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