Seizures with Migraine?

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

same1965
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/20/2009 11:13 AM (GMT -6)   
My 18 year old daughter has been having seizures since April and she always has a severe headache right before and after the seizure.  The headache can last from several hours to a couple of days.  Her doctor has run some tests and they say she doesn't have epilepsy.  I'm wondering if she's having migraines--and having a seizure from the migraine.  Has anyone else experienced this or heard of this?

OnTheRocks
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 117
   Posted 10/20/2009 11:23 AM (GMT -6)   
It is most assuredly heard of, but not very common. Migraines are a neurological condition and they're sometimes preceded by an "aura". An aura can be different from person to person, but it usually has neuro symptoms that mock stroke symptoms (unilateral weakness, flashing lights, photo/phonophobia, difficulty speaking, dizziness, etc.) and it can have some epileptic precursor signs. Because she is having seizures, there is also a strong likelihood there could be a more serious underlying cause. I would recommend getting some additional medical advice before chalking it up to migraines.

korbnep
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 327
   Posted Today 10:25 AM (GMT -6)   
You should certainly make sure that there isn't another serious underlying problem that your missing (epilepsy isn't the only cause of seizures). However it is certainly possible that the migraines are inducing seizures (is the doc sure that they're seizures, or full-blown seizures if they are?). Migraine, especially with aura, bears a very close relationship to seizure. Here's the comment from the IHS regarding the phenomenon:

The IHS said...
Migraine and epilepsy are prototypical examples of paroxysmal brain disorders. While migraine-like headaches are quite frequently seen in the postictal period, sometimes a seizure occurs during or following a migraine attack. This phenomenon, sometimes referred to as migralepsy, has been described in patients with migraine with aura.


Ben
DX: NDPH, Recovered(?) CRPS
RX: Lamictal, Namenda, Wellbutrin XL, Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Concerta (Methylphenidate), Clonazepam, Rozerem, Magnesium (1200 mg/d), Riboflavin (400 mg/d).

PRN: Ketamine nasal spray, Toradol IM, Celebrex, Haloperidol, Lodine, Zofran, Phenergan, Ambien CR
rarely: Migranal, Thorazine, DHE IM, Droperidol IM, Reglan, Provigil, triptans (Imitrex, Maxalt, Relpax, Zomig, Axert, Amerge)

I can be contacted personally via email at korbnep:healingwell@gmail.com.


same1965
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted Today 11:04 AM (GMT -6)   
My daughter has been seeing doctors and therapists since April and has had CT and MRI scans.  Initially, they thought it was epilepsy (I have a brother who has epilepsy) but they had her in a seizure study in the hospital and the docs there said that all the seizures she had were non-epileptic.  They diagnosed her with psychogenic seizures but told us that just meant that all of the seizures they tracked were non-epileptic but that she could be having both epileptic and non-epileptic seizures or having seizures for another reason.  They told us to have her continue to see a neurologist and stay on anti-seizure meds until she had a definite diagnosis.  When I followed up with the neurologist (like they told me to do) the neurologist said there was nothing more she could do and took her off of anti-seizure meds since they weren't working.  She didn't even try any other anti-seizure meds!  When I asked her if they could be migraines (I've had migraines for 25 years) she said, "yeah, but I doubt it".  Grrrr.......she's not our neurologist anymore!  We've been doing everything the docs have told us for six months and she still continues to have seizures.  She misses school and work on a regular basis and has more bumps and bruises from falling than I can count!  I'm not saying that her seizures aren't psychogenic--they could be--but six months of therapy has not come up with any subconscious stressors that could be causing these episodes.  Even her therapist thinks the physical side of things needs to be checked out further.  Anyway, thanks for letting me unload.  I guess I'm going to have to try and find another doctor to help my daughter.

korbnep
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 10/23/2009 11:05 AM (GMT -6)   
You should definitely find a doctor who thinks s/he can help your daughter. As you said they diagnosed it as psychogenic because they couldn't pinpoint an organic cause. However, a true diagnosis of psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) involves ruling out both epilepsy and organic causes for non-epileptic seizures (NES).

One of the important possible causes of NES is migraine. So if you doctor says that it's a possibility but doesn't feel that it's worth exploring then she probably is not approaching the problem correctly (Of course she could mean that she feels that migraines are so unlikely that it would not be justifiable to spend time looking at them that could be better spent looking at other causes--but this doesn't seem to be the case.).

Also, you mentioned that she has been falling a lot. Does she lose consciousness, even briefly? If so that is an indication of a possible organic cause. Does she have erratic uncontrolled movements (automatisms) during her seizures? That's another sign that points away from PNES.

How did the doctors at the hospital determine that the seizures that they observed were non-epileptic? If your daughter experiences the seizures often enough for a clinician to monitor them then you may want to ask about "Long-term video EEG monitoring". Apparently it's an invaluable tool in confirming or ruling out PNES.

One final thought--what type of therapist is your daughter seeing? Considering the circumstances I would guess some sort of psychoanalyst. If she's not getting anywhere with the therapist you may want to try seeing a different therapist, perhaps with a different approach, behavioral for example. I don't say this to cast any doubt on the reliability or skill of her current therapist. It's just that each therapist-patient relationship is unique. As someone who has seen more therapists than I can count with my hands it's been my experience that even the therapists that I've liked the least have helped me look at things in a different way than the others. I also have a disorder with no observable organic cause (daily persistent headache) and for several years one of the goals of my therapy was to rule out the possibility that the headaches were psychogenic. Every one of them has confidently ruled out the possibility but I still am able to deal with the nonstop headaches more easily with their help. What I mean to say here is that, even if there are not "subconscious stressors that could be causing these episodes", it's quite likely that there are some subconscious stressors that affect the episodes. And if that's something that you might be able to control then it can only help.

Good luck,
Ben

P.S. I found two good journal articles about PNES. I can't link you directly to them but send me an email if you'd like to take a look at them.
DX: NDPH, Recovered(?) CRPS
RX: Lamictal, Namenda, Wellbutrin XL, Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Concerta (Methylphenidate), Clonazepam, Rozerem, Magnesium (1200 mg/d), Riboflavin (400 mg/d).

PRN: Ketamine nasal spray, Toradol IM, Celebrex, Haloperidol, Lodine, Zofran, Phenergan, Ambien CR
rarely: Migranal, Thorazine, DHE IM, Droperidol IM, Reglan, Provigil, triptans (Imitrex, Maxalt, Relpax, Zomig, Axert, Amerge)

I can be contacted personally via email at korbnep:healingwell@gmail.com.


same1965
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/23/2009 11:48 AM (GMT -6)   
I tried emailing you to ask you to forward the PNES articles but my server wouldn't send them.  My email is sheryl@avestarcu.com.
 
My daughter was hospitalized for 2 1/2 days and video/EEG monitored 24/7.  The doctors said that all of the seizures that they monitored were deemed non-epileptic----no changes in brain activity----although they cautioned us that it was still possible that she was having more than one kind of seizure.  So, why didn't they keep her longer? 
 
She falls as she is having a seizure.  about 80% of the time she gets a very intense headache immediately before falling/seizing and she gets to the floor so as to avoid serious injury.  Other times, she has no warning and just falls flat on her face or her back.  Sometimes she just falls and is unconscious for a minute or two, sometimes she convulses like a grand mal seizure and other times she just seems to fall "asleep" but she can't be awakened.  After all of these types of seizures I know it's over when she takes a very deep breath or two and "wakes up".  During her seizures sometimes she foams at the mouth or drools or smacks her lips like she just ate something--it's weird.  She almost always wakes up crying and saying that her head hurts.
 
She is seeing her regular therapist (she's also bi-polar) and I just started taking her to an art therapist just to try SOMETHING different and see if we can get to the root of this problem.  This is ruining her life! confused
 
Thanks for your input, I appreciate it. :-)
New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Sunday, October 22, 2017 2:34 AM (GMT -6)
There are a total of 2,885,488 posts in 316,646 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 157722 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, JoHnGaMeR90.
249 Guest(s), 6 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
JoHnGaMeR90, Bucko, bawsdad09, Gutsycal, gagsa345454543, Annie88


Follow HealingWell.com on Facebook  Follow HealingWell.com on Twitter  Follow HealingWell.com on Pinterest
Advertisement
Advertisement

©1996-2017 HealingWell.com LLC  All rights reserved.

Advertise | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer