For a stroke to be classified as a migrainous stroke, the episode must occur along with a migraine with aura. Most ischemic strokes occur suddenly, and time is vital. If you notice one or more of these signs in another person or in yourself, do not wait to seek help. Call 9-1-1 immediately.
Symptoms of a migraine with aura include:
- Flashes of light
- Blind spots
- Tingling in the hands or face
- Difficulty concentrating
- Neck stiffness
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Blurred vision
Stroke symptoms include:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion
- Sudden trouble speaking
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking
- Sudden dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
Causes and Risk Factors
Migrainous strokes are rare and the connection between migraine and stroke is not yet fully understood. However, research has shown an increased risk of stroke in patients with a history of migraines with aura.
Women aged 45 and younger appear to be at a greater risk of migrainous strokes. Some possible reasons for this are hormonal changes and increased risk of blood clots due to hormonal birth control.
Patients who have a history of migraines with aura, or who have an increased risk of ischemic stroke, can lower their risk of through lifestyle changes such as: