Migraine with brainstem aura

What causes a migraine with brainstem aura?

The exact underlying cause of migraine with brainstem aura (MBA) is not well understood. MBA, like all types of migraines, are likely complex disorders that are influenced by multiple genes in combination with lifestyle and environmental factors. Scientists also suspect that nerve abnormalities and/or altered blood flow to certain parts of the brain (brainstem and occipital lobes, specifically) may play a role in the development of MBA.

Susceptibility to MBA may rarely be caused by a change (mutation) in the ATP1A2 gene or CACNA1A gene. In these cases, episodes may occur in more than one family member.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How is migraine with brainstem aura diagnosed?

A diagnosis of migraine with brainstem aura (MBA) is made based on the presence of characteristic signs and symptoms. Although there are no tests available to confirm the diagnosis, additional testing may be ordered to rule out other conditions that can cause similar symptoms. These tests may include:

Last updated on 05-01-20

Are migraines with brainstem aura inherited?

In most cases, migraines with brainstem aura (MBA) are not inherited. However, in rare cases, susceptibility to MBA may be caused by a change (mutation) in the ATP1A2 gene or CACNA1A gene. In these cases, an increased risk for MBA is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. This means that to be affected, a person only needs a mutation in one copy of the responsible gene in each cell. In some cases, an affected person inherits the mutation from an affected parent. Other cases may result from new (de novo) mutations in the gene. These cases occur in people with no history of the disorder in their family. A person with one of these mutations has a 50% chance with each pregnancy of passing along the altered gene to his or her child.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How rare is it to begin having migraines with brainstem aura in middle adulthood?

Migraine with brainstem aura (MBA) was initially thought to involve only adolescent women, but MBA may affect both genders, at any age. It is more common in females. While the age of onset is usually between ages 7 and 20, onset has been reported up to age 62. Most people with MBA have had their first attack by the third decade of life. We are not aware of statistics regarding exactly how rare it is to begin having MBA in middle adulthood.

Last updated on 05-01-20

What is the long-term outlook for people with migraine with brainstem aura?

Due to the rarity of these migraines, there is limited data on the long-term outlook (prognosis) for affected people. Although the symptoms are often severe during episodes, they generally resolve on their own with no lasting complications. Some research suggests that the frequency of MBA decreases with age, although they may evolve into episodes of more typical forms of migraines in some affected people. Migraines with aura do carry a small risk of migrainous infarction (stroke in the setting of a migraine attack) and ischemic stroke.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How might migraines with brainstem aura be treated?

During an episode of migraine with brainstem aura (MBA), people are usually treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and antiemetic medications to help ease the symptoms. In some cases, a nerve block can be used to treat pain if other therapies are not working. In people with episodes that are frequent, prolonged, or particularly debilitating, medications such as verapamil or topiramate may be prescribed as a preventative therapy.

Last updated on 05-01-20

Name: National Headache Foundation NHF 820 N Orleans, Suite 201
Chicago, IL, 60610-3132, United States
Phone: +1-312-274-2650 Toll Free: 1-888-643-5552 Email: info@headaches.org Url: https://headaches.org
Name: M.A.G.N.U.M. (The National Migraine Association) 100 N Union Street Suite B
Alexandria, VA, 22314, United States
Url: http://www.migraines.org/
Name: Migraine Research Foundation 300 East 75th Street Suite 3K
New York, NY, 10021, United States
Phone: +1-212-249-5402 Fax : +1-212-249-5405 Email: contactmrf@migraineresearchfoundation.org Url: https://migraineresearchfoundation.org/
Name: The Migraine Trust 4th Floor Mitre House
44-46 Fleet Street
London, EC4Y 1BN, United Kingdom
Phone: 0203 9510 150 Email: https://www.migrainetrust.org/about-us/contact-us/contact-us/ Url: https://www.migrainetrust.org/
Name: International Headache Society 52-53 Russell Square
London, WC1B 4HP, United Kingdom
Url: http://www.ihs-headache.org/
Name: American Migraine Foundation AMF 19 Mantua Rd.
Mount Royal, NJ, 08061, United States
Phone: 856-423-0043 Fax : 856-423-0082 Email: amf@talley.com Url: https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/

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