Late-life migraine accompaniments as a cause of unexplained transient ischemic attacks

Can J Neurol Sci. 1980 Feb;7(1):9-17.


Occasionally patients in the stroke age-bracket over 40 have unexplained transient cerebral ischemic attacks in association with normal cerebral angiograms. From this group 120 have been collected in whom the transient episodes resembled the neurological accompaniments of migraine. According to symptoms, the patients were categorized as follows: Visual accompaniments (patients with only ordinary scintillating scotoma were excluded), 25; visual and paresthesias, 18; visual and speech disturbance, 7; visual, and brain stem symptoms, 14; visual, paresthesias, and speech disturbance, 7; visual, paresthesias, speech disturbance and paresis, 25; recurrence of old stroke deficit, 9; miscellaneous, 8. In establishing the diagnosis angiography is advisable in all but classical cases. Typical of migrainous accompaniments are the buildup and migration of visual scintillations, the march of paresthesiae, and progression from one accompaniment to another, characteristics that do not occur in thrombosis and embolism. Diagnosis facilitated when 2 or more similar episodes have occurred or migraine-like scintillations are present. Headache occurred in 50% of cases. Other cerebrovascular processes, coagulation disorders, and cerebral seizures must be ruled out.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / diagnosis*
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / complications
  • Migraine Disorders / diagnosis*