The transient syndrome of headache with neurologic deficits and CSF lymphocytosis

Neurology. 1995 Sep;45(9):1648-54. doi: 10.1212/wnl.45.9.1648.


We describe seven patients who experienced a transient syndrome consisting of headache with neurologic deficits and CSF lymphocytic pleocytosis. Thirty-three similar patients have been reported previously. All had from one to more than 20 episodes of a severe migrainous headache accompanied by a temporary neurologic deficit and lymphocytes in the CSF. Some patients had a preceding viral syndrome, increased intracranial pressure, elevated CSF protein, or focal EEG abnormalities. All stopped having episodes within 3 months. We present diagnostic criteria for this benign syndrome. Its cause remains unknown.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid / cytology*
  • Child
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Headache / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytosis / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Syndrome