Hemiplegic migraine is characterised by temporary muscle weakness down one side of the body. Hemi- meaning half & -plegic meaning paralysis. This type of migraine attacks can be mistaken for a stroke because of the way in which it present. The weakness experienced during a hemiplegic migraine attack is often accompanied by numbness or pins & needles. In addition, attacks can include speech difficulties, visual problems & confusion. This type of migraine attack usually lasts 1-24 hours, but it is possible to last for several days.
It is thought that genetics are responsible for the presence of hemiplegic migraine.
There are two types of hemiplegic migraine, familial & sporadic. Familial type is diagnosed when there are two close family members who suffer with hemiplegic migraine. This type is inherited. Sporadic type is diagnosed when there is no link to family members with hemiplegic migraine. This type is thought to be the result of a sporadic genetic mutation. Whether you have familial or sporadic hemiplegic migraine, the treatment & management options remain the same.
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Useful resources –
Hemiplegic Migraine, Migraine Trust. https://www.migrainetrust.org/about-migraine/types-of-migraine/hemiplegic-migraine/. © The Migraine Trust 2016.