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silent migraines

By Anonymous October 8, 2010 - 9:52am
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I had a stroke in 2007 and have had several stroke like episodes since than. My neurologist is calling them silent migraines and nor more mini strokes. The last episodes have not showed up on the MRI as a stroke like the first one did and now says they are silent migraines. I have a light show in my eyes before they really set in full blown with all the things that happen when you have a stroke. What medication does one take as a preventive for these occurrances?

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Hi Anonymous,
Thank you for your question and for finding EmpowHER. I'm sorry you are having to deal with this condition. I found on the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke web site on Transient Ischemic Attack (mini stroke) page:
"Because there is no way to tell whether symptoms are from a TIA or an acute stroke, patients should assume that all stroke-like symptoms signal an emergency and should not wait to see if they go away. A prompt evaluation (within 60 minutes) is necessary to identify the cause of the TIA and determine appropriate therapy. ...The use of antiplatelet agents, particularly aspirin, is a standard treatment for patients at risk for stroke. People with atrial fibrillation (irregular beating of the heart) may be prescribed anticoagulants."
Here is the web page for your information:
I'm not sure that is the information you were looking for--if you meant ocular (or retinal) migraine, let me know and I'll forward that information. Please let us know if we can help you more.
warmest regards,

October 8, 2010 - 11:48am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Christine Jeffries)

Yes I was asking about ocular , silent migraines. That is what my nurologist is callin the episodes that are accuring now. They just happen with no notice and cause symptoms of a mini stroke, but they are not ,so I am told.

October 8, 2010 - 12:52pm
(reply to Anonymous)

Hello Anonymous

I have written a few articles on migraines for the site, and one of them lists some of the meds used as migraine preventative plus a couple of sources at the end: http://www.empowher.com/migraine/content/migraines-types-prevention-and-treatment?page=0,0.

I have plenty of information that wouldn't fit in the scope of the articles, so if I can help further, please let me now. The spots before the migraine are an aura and are fairly common.

Thanks for writing and again, if you need more information don't hesitate to ask.

October 9, 2010 - 6:50am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Cary Cook BSN RN)

When I get these spots I am thrown into stroke like symptoms. I am unable to function. My speech is slurred and I can't answer any questions. I think I am , but no one can understand me. I am so tired of this happening. I thought that I was having another stroke but the MRI does not show that they are strokes so the Neurologist has called them silent migraines. I never in my life new anything like this existed but they do. It is affecting my job because I want to move into a different position, but my supervisor is reluctant to do so because of these silent migraines. He has been there in the emergency room with me and said my sppech was slurred and no one knew who I was because I was unable to tell them. These migraines are causing my life to be turned upside down. I just want to know why are they happening?

October 9, 2010 - 8:42am
(reply to Anonymous)

We don't know why some people get migraines and others don't. I know these neuro symptoms are frightening, especially with your history of stroke. This is not the most common type of migraine, but it isn't unheard of, either.

I'm wondering if the migraines started after the stroke, or if you had them before? Also, have blood flow studies been done such as MRA or CTA? These are special MRIs and CTs that show blood flow.

I actually worked with a nurse who had this type of headache. She jokingly called them her strokes and while she took meds for them, she still had them from time to time. It scared her, too.

There is a link between migraine and stroke that is not well understood. It is more of a correlation than cause and effect at this point. Has your neurologist prescribed any medications for the migraines?

If you feel comfortable giving a little more detail, hopefully I can point you to more information. Hang in there and take care of yourself.

October 9, 2010 - 3:00pm
(reply to Anonymous)

Hi anonymous,
Thanks for coming back and clarifying. Here is information I found on migraine and treatments from the same source as before. It includes medical and alternative treatment options for migraine, including retinal (ocular) migraine:
It is important to work with your health care provider to ensure effective treatment and no conflicts with any other conditions, supplements, or medications you may be taking. Hope that makes sense.
Good luck and let us know how you are doing. I had a hard time finding information on your condition, so please come back and share your experience. It may help others.

October 8, 2010 - 1:56pm
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