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Saturday, August 21, 2010

What Causes Migraine Aura

AuraThe aura is the second of four possible phases of a Migraine attack. Aura symptoms vary from one Migraineur to the next and even from one MIgraine attack to the next. The symptoms may include:
  • Visual symptoms inclusing scotoma, phosphenes, wavy vision, floating spots, and more.
  • Numbness or tingling, usually of the face or hands and arms.
  • Olfactory hallucinations -- smelling things that aren't actually present.
  • Auditory hallucinations -- hearing things that aren't actually present.
  • Aphasia -- problems with understanding speech or finding the right words to speak.
  • More. You can read more about the phases of Migraine and their potential symptoms in Anatomy of a Migraine.
Have you ever wondered what goes on in the brain during a Migraine to cause the aura symptoms? Dr. David Dodick, president of the American Headache Society and director of the Migraine and headache clinic at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, recently answered that question in the New York Times health section Consults. His reply begins:
"Migraine is too often “bookmarked” by the start and stop of the headache, but migraine is frequently associated with symptoms other than headache before, during and after the onset of head pain. About 75 percent of migraine sufferers will experience non-headache premonitory symptoms prior to the headache pain. Patients experience a range of cognitive, emotional and physical symptoms in this phase; the most common include feeling tired and weary, difficulty concentrating, stiff neck, dizziness, light and noise sensitivity, yawning, and depression or irritability."
You can read the rest of his answer in Consults.
Live well,
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