Migraine associated Vertigo has only been recently recognised, but affects a large number of patients, who until recently had few recognised treatment options. Clinical trials are underway, but pooling patient experience may help others find treatments that help them.
Filling in the polls at the end of the page may help establish a database of what works for which patients.
Summary Information about Migrainous Vertigo
Around 30-50% of patients with migraine experience at times an abnormal sense of motion, at times clearly vertigo (a sense of spinning), at others a more non-specific sense of imbalance. This may be accompanied by other migraine symptoms, such as photophobia (discomfort with bright light) or headache. An increased sensitivity to motion, particularly to movements of the head, or fast-moving objects are often part of the attack. Patients with migraine and certainly with migrainous vertigo have increased likelihood of motion sickness.
It is said that up to 1% of the population of Western countries suffers from this disorder. It is estimated that whilst 60% of vertigo patients seek medical attention, as few as 20% of patients are correctly diagnosed with vestibular migraine. Women are 1.5-5 times more likely than men to be affected.
The mechanism at this stage is unclear, but an increased sensitivity to balance stimuli or a failure of integration of different types of balance stimuli are at this stage possibilities.
Migrainous vertigo is often well controlled with certain migraine (especially preventative) medications. Clinical studies have shown a reduction in duration, severity and frequency of the episodic vertigo with preventative medications in these patients.
It has only been recently recognised by the International Headache Society as a separate disorder and research into the area is growing rapidly.
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