Misdiagnosis of Migraine

Migraine is an inherently difficult diagnosis. There are many other possible conditions to consider, and migraine is a diagnosis by exclusion.

Diagnosing Other Causes of Headache: There are many, many possible causes of headache. Fortunately, there are not as many conditions that cause a chronic headache, or recurring headache episodes. Some of the conditions needing consideration include:

Read more about: Headache (there are many other causes).

Diagnosing the Correct Type of Migraine: There are various subtypes of migraine that need to be considered:

  • Migraine with aura (“classical migraine”)
  • Migraine without aura (“common migraine”). This is also sometimes called a “weekend migraine” when the attack occurs at the weekend or the start of a holiday.
  • Amigrainous migraine. Literally means “migraine without the migraine” and refers to a migraine without a headache, but with other migraine-like symptoms.

Other Neurological Conditions: There are some other conditions of the brain and neurological system that can need to be distinguished from migraine.

  • Epilepsy. This can occur with or without headache. Many of the sensory or visual symptoms of some kinds of seizures, or preceding seizures, can be similar to an “aura” in a migraine. There is a definite link between migraine and epilepsy. They often occur together.

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