Uncommon migraine subtypes and their relation to stroke

Panayiotis N. Varelas, Christine A.C. Wijman, Pierre Fayad

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND - For more than a century there has been debate as to whether migraine is related to stroke. The most recent headache classification recognizes migrainous infarction in patients with migraine with aura. Uncommon forms of migraine have a less clear relation to stroke. REVIEW SUMMARY - Ophthalmoplegic migraine is very rare, affecting mostly the third cranial nerve, and is a diagnosis of exclusion. Retinal migraine is also uncommon and may mimic embolic retinal infarcts. Basilar migraine very rarely leads to permanent deficits. Familial hemiplegic migraine is probably genetically related to cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy. A prominent feature of mitochondrial myopathy, encephalopathy, lactic acidosis and stroke-like episodes is migrainous headache. CONCLUSIONS - Uncommon subtypes of migraine are occasionally encountered by the clinician. Other causes of neurologic deficits should first be sought. In the presence of a positive family history, genetic testing is available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-144
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Basilar
  • Familial hemiplegic migraine
  • Ophthalmoplegic
  • Retinal
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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