Here’s how to tell the difference

Symptoms of the aura and stroke are similar

Visual disturbances such as flashes of light, jagged lines and loss of visual field Speech disturbances such as difficulty finding words and tingling and numbness in the arms are common symptoms of the aura. Double vision, impaired hearing, tinnitus, and slurred speech can also occur as part of a migraine aura, but are quite rare. The visual aura is the most common form of aura at 98 percent. 36% of people with aura have sensory disturbances, 10% have speech disturbances. Aura symptoms usually resolve completely within an hour.

“This surge of arousal in the brain, called Cortial Spreading Depression (CSD), is seen not only in migraines but also after brain damage such as acute strokes or craniocerebral trauma,” says Dr. Charly Gaul, General Secretary and Press Spokesperson of the German Society for Migraine and Headache e. V. (DMKG). “Because aura symptoms and stroke symptoms are very similar, migraine sufferers are often upset and afraid of having a stroke. Very rarely, a severe, long-lasting migraine attack can lead to a stroke. doctors therefore speak of a migraine heart attack “.

Differences between migraine aura and stroke

There is evidence that allows a distinction between a migraine aura and a stroke. According to the expert, the aura symptoms usually disappear at the latest when the migraine starts. Also, the aura symptoms would not be turned on and off like a switch. A slow appearance is characteristic. “The slow spread of neurological symptoms is an important differentiator for a stroke. A stroke occurs suddenly. Signs of paralysis on one side of the body are also characteristic,” explains Gaul. “This difference is important for migraine sufferers.”

Migraine sufferers have a higher risk of stroke

The aura of migraine is usually harmless and does not harm the brain. But what aura sufferers need to know: Migraine patients with aura have a higher risk of stroke than healthy people. “This is about double that of healthy people,” says the migraine expert. “The risk also increases if those affected smoke, are overweight, have high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol levels. Taking birth control pills in combination with aura migraines is also associated with a higher risk. high stroke “. It is therefore important if you suffer from migraine with aura to keep an eye on other additional risk factors.

(Source: private)

Priv.-Doz. Dr. med. Charly Gallia is general secretary and spokesperson for the German Society for Migraines and Headaches. V. (DMKG). The DMKG-certified expert for headache and facial pain as well as a specialist in neurology and special pain therapy works at the Headache Center in Frankfurt am Main.

New symptoms of the aura? Think about the stroke

Migraine sufferers should ask their doctor what symptoms are typical of the aura, what treatment options are available, and what symptoms may indicate a stroke. “If migraine patients experience previously unknown neurological symptoms as part of an aura, or if aura symptoms such as visual, sensory, or speech disturbances occur for the first time at the same time as the headache, it should be considered. even a stroke “. emphasizes the horse.

If you suspect a stroke, call the emergency health services

Those unsure whether the symptoms are an aura or a stroke should always call the emergency number 112. A suspected stroke should always be considered a life-threatening emergency. Healthy people without migraines should also be alert if they suddenly experience unknown neurological disorders and should also call their emergency doctor without hesitation if a stroke is suspected.

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