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Stroke

Migraine induced stroke/TIA

05/01/2007

Question:

Good Afternoon, I recently have been hospitalized with what 1 physician stated was a migraine induced stroke brought on by an Atypical Migraine Headache. I have suffered migraines for about 30 years and have never experienced this before. I have been put on Depakote for migraine control but this does not address the residual weakness, dizziness or other symptoms I have been experiencing. Can you advise if this is normal treatment and if migraine headaches can induce stroke or TIA`s as one of the nurses who took care of me stated was more likely the problem? Thank you so much for any assistance you can provide.

Answer:

The suggestion that migraine can induce stroke is very controversial and if it is true it is extremely rare. Many experts even do not believe that migraine can trigger a stroke and I am one of them. For that reason, I always perform a thorough stroke work up to determine the cause of the stroke rather than say it it was migraine induced. In your case I would do the same. There are many prophylactic medications to prevent migraines. Depakote is one of them. My favorite in such cases is Verapamil. However, I will leave the choice of medication to your physician's discretion. Remember, Depakote and other prophylactic medication is to prevent migraine attacks and has nothing to do in improving the already existing deficits. Best regards and hope the above will help.

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Response by:

Yousef  Mohammad, MD, MSc Yousef Mohammad, MD, MSc
Assistant Professor
Director, Stroke Fellowship Program
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University