Migraine Headache

Know All About Hemiplegic Migraine Headache


Headache is one of the most common health problems. However, there are some rare form of headaches that affect only a select few. Hemiplegic headache is one such rare type of migraine headache. Amidst various other headache types, this one is the most serious headache that can incapacitate a person too.

What is Hemiplegic migraine headache?
Migraine headache can be broadly classified into migraine with aura and migraine without aura. Hemiplegic migraine headache falls into the migraine with aura category. It is a severe type of migraine that is accompanied with alarming symptoms. Hemiplegic migraine headache is characterized by a temporary stroke or a paralysis like condition on one side of the body.

What are the causes of hemiplegic migraine headache?
Mutations or defects in certain genes of the body is considered to be the primary cause for this headache type. There are primarily three types of genes that are associated with hemiplegic headache migraine. Any kind of defect in either of these genes results in the inability of the body to manufacture a kind of protein.

This protein is needed by the body to carry any kind of communication between the nerve cells. In the absence of these proteins, the body can't receive or send neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers released between the nerve cells.

How to spot Hemiplegic migraine headache?
Like every other headache, hemiplegic migraine headache is also accompanied with a certain set of symptoms. Along with severe pain and minor paralysis, this headache type is also accompanied with severe and throbbing pain on one side of the head. Some other common symptoms of this headache type include:

* Feeling of needles moving along the arm
* Weakness on one side of the body
* Numbness
* Visual aura and hallucinations
* Stammering
* Dizziness
* Extreme light sensitivity
* Sensitivity to sound
* Unconsciousness
* Confusion

Hemiplegic migraine headache usually occurs once in a month. Thus headache type does not last for more than 60 minutes.

How to treat hemiplegic migraine headache?
The treatment for hemiplegic migraine headache varies from one individual to another. The chosen treatment depends upon the frequency of attacks and severity of symptoms.

Several medications are used to combat this severe headache type. Ideally, doctors prescribed acute medications like valproic acid and magnesium sulfate are used to treat the problem.

However, in some cases doctors may prescribe preventive medications to manage future migraine episodes. An Anticonvulsant medication or a calcium chanel blocker may be used to reduce the severity of attacks.

Hemiplegic migraine headache is a serious condition and calls for an appropriate treatment. In case, you suspect any of the symptoms, make sure that you consult your health care provider at the earliest.