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Diagnosis of Migraine & Headache Types

What Happens in Our Brain During Migraine ?

  • By Susan L

    Does anyone know? Is it a series of seizures like epilepsy. The reason I ask right now is that I’m a beader, as in making jewelry, and I was in class making the 2nd earring of the pair I’d started the week before on Saturday. Only THIS Saturday I had a migraine, but it was an OK day to take my abortive, so I thought I’d be OK. I’ve been under fairly good control of my disease…sort of, anyway. But this one was destined to turn into a slow burning bonfire before days end. I’d finished the 1st intermediate-level-difficulty earring completely the Saturday before. This week, I couldn’t “see” where to place the beads properly, and simply couldn’t figure out the same stringing issue over and over again, row after row. I had to keep pulling out the beads over and over again. My teacher was frustrated with me because I’m a talented student. I’m still “in” this ball-buster headache, and can’t visualize the correct pattern – and I’m a TOTALLY visual person. So, I’m wondering if any of you know what goes wrong with the wiring up there during an attack. I NEVER have trouble visualizing bead patterns or doing beading- that’s my love! TIA, Susan

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi jazzmine,

    Cognitive side effects of migraine can include trouble processing things, difficulty thinking and/or concentrating, unable to understand speech, math and more, which you probably already know. What we aren’t sure of is what exactly happens in our brain when we have an attack. We do know when we come into contact with certain stimuli, or triggers our sensitive brain starts a chain reaction of events. Dr. Marcus, a wonderful migraine specialist who passed away last year, wrote an article on research from the European Federation of Neurological Sciences conference she went to; https://migraine.com/blog/whats-new-in-migraine-research/.

    Does this help?
    Nancy

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  • By Susan L

    Hi Nancy, Yes, that article was very helpful. I believe my migraines are now sometimes different from what I’m used to. Having had them for 55 years now, a new type has hit twice that is especially nasty to my cognitive function. It’s a Mega Brain Fart! I believe Dr. Marcus explained the issues fairly well, although I’m not exactly fitting into a perfect category that he outlines. I’m certainly overly sensitive at this point. That’s what happened last week, and it was worse than I’ve ever experienced before. This stinks, but thanks for the article!
    Susan

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  • By Khadija

    I always in vision that when a mega migraine starts there is something smashing my skull with a sledgehammer. It would though be interesting to see what exactly is going on when a migraine strikes particularly one that starts off with an aura. So far those are the ones that confine me to the bed and leave my brain mush for a few days.

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  • By Tammy Rome

    I know there have been some PET and fMRI scans done on patients early in the migraine process that show the different areas that light up, even before we know an attack is coming. I can’t find my bookmarks to them right now though. I’m sure you would get a lot out of that kind of information.

    Tammy

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