Migraine with Multiple Sensory Auras

Acta Neurol Taiwan. 2016 Dec 15;25(4):148-151.


Migraine auras are typically visual in nature but can manifest as disturbances in somatosensory, auditory, and olfactory senses. Reports of multiple sensory auras are rare in the literature, but their existence may offer novel insights into the pathogenesis of this highly common yet complex neurological condition. Here we report a case of multiple sensory auras involving somatosensory, auditory, and olfactory disturbances in a patient with migraine without visual manifestations. A 45-year-old woman with a 20-year history of migrainous headaches presented with complaints of rightsided facial and hand numbness and paraesthesia. In addition to somatosensory symptoms, she eventually presented with tinnitus, cutaneous allodynia, and phantosmia, each of which was temporally associated with episodes of headache. No abnormalities were detected on NCS, EEG, MRI, and laboratory investigations. Her symptoms were managed by prophylactic medications and acupuncture. The theories of cortical spreading depression, cortical sensitization, and thalamocortical network involvement were discussed as possible explanations for sensory auras in migraine. This case report of migraine with multiple sensory auras spanning somatosensory, auditory, and olfactory modalities offers novel insights into the pathophysiology of migrainous auras.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Epilepsy / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine with Aura / physiopathology*