What is the Rarest Type of Headache?

Hemiplegic migraine is a rare disorder in which people affected experience migraine headache along with weakness on one side of the body (hemiplegia). Affected individuals are described as having a migraine with aura. If these types of migraine are inherited in your family, they are called familial hemiplegic migraine and are caused by a mutated gene you receive from your parents. If it doesn't happen in your family, it's called sporadic hemiplegic migraine.

It is also caused by a genetic mutation. The symptoms of migraine with aura of the brain stem are very similar to those of hemiplegic migraines without muscle weakness. They usually appear slowly and there is a headache. Abdominal migraines can last from 2 to 72 hours.

Children who have them often get migraines as adults. Your doctor will likely rule out other gastrointestinal and kidney conditions before deciding that the pain is due to an abdominal migraine. You don't usually have a headache with these vision-related migraines. Experts believe that ocular migraine comes from unusual electrical activity in the brain.

If this occurs on the outer surface of the brain, it is called migraine with aura. If it occurs in the back of the eye, in the retina, it is called an ocular migraine. Eye migraine may also be due to lack of blood flow to the retina. The light that comes from electronic screens can be a trigger for these.

Eye migraines usually occur in only one eye and can have serious symptoms, such as temporary loss of vision. About one-third to one-half of people with migraine may have vestibular migraine at some point in their lives. Chances are you'll have one after you've had a migraine for years. There are a huge number of headache disorders, all of which occur uniquely.

It's important to be evaluated by a headache specialist if you suspect you may have one of the rare headache conditions listed below, such as cluster headaches, paroxysmal hemicrania, or cervicogenic headache. These headaches have a low prevalence among the world's population, but can be quite serious, unlike the more common tension headache (which affects up to 12% of the US population). A primary headache is caused by hyperactivity or problems with the pain-sensitive structures of the head, while secondary headaches are caused by another underlying condition. Getting an early diagnosis can make it easier to track your attacks and manage them appropriately.

SUNCT headaches occur in approximately 6 out of 100,000 people and represent a major subset of SUNA syndrome, which means short-term attacks of unilateral neuralgiform headache with autonomic cranial symptoms. Prescription corticosteroids and antiepileptic drugs gabapentin, lamotrigine, and carbamazepine may help relieve some symptoms of these headaches in some patients, but SUNCT headaches usually do not respond to standard treatments and may require broader interventions. According to the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the prevalence of cervicogenic headache is estimated to be up to 4.1% in the general population. However, its prevalence can reach up to 17.5% among patients with severe headaches and 53% in patients suffering from headache after whiplash.

The average age of patients with cervicogenic headaches is 42.9 years, and the disorder is four times more prevalent in women. People who suffer from cervicogenic headache often report tenderness or a reduced range of motion in the neck, or a worsening headache associated with neck movement (however, the headache itself may or may not be associated with neck pain). Headaches usually occur on one side of the head, and the pain may radiate from the neck or back of the head to the front of the head or behind the eye. There is also the possibility that cervical spondylosis, or age-related wear and tear that affects the spinal discs of the neck, can cause this type of headache.

Hemiplegic migraine affects a very small percentage of people in the United States. People with hemiplegic migraine attacks experience paralysis or weakness on one side of the body, speech and vision disturbances, and other symptoms that often resemble a stroke. People who experience repeated and continuous episodes of migraine may have a variant called chronic migraine. Sometimes called intractable migraine, migraine status is a very serious and very rare variant of migraine.

It usually causes migraine attacks so severe and prolonged (usually lasting more than 72 hours) that you need to be hospitalized. This is a rare form of migraine aura that causes distortions in perception. A person with this condition may feel as if their body is getting smaller, then bigger, or they might find that time seems to speed up or slow down. Children experience this syndrome more than adults, but it can occur in people of any age.

Sporadic hemiplegic migraine is a rare form of migraine headache. Migraines often cause severe, stabbing pain in one area of the head. Some people with migraines also experience nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. These recurrent headaches usually begin in childhood or adolescence and can be triggered by certain foods, emotional stress, and mild head injury.

Each headache can last from a few hours to a few days. Episodes of explosive head syndrome, which occur when falling asleep or, less often, waking up, wake people up from sleep with the feeling of a strong blow to the head, such as an explosion. Ten percent of cases are associated with the perception of a flash of light. Five percent of patients report a sense of curiosity, as if they had stopped breathing and had to make a deliberate effort to breathe again.

The episodes have a variable frequency and begin at any age, although the most common are middle-aged and older. Episodes occur in healthy individuals during any stage of sleep without evidence of epileptogenic discharge. Symptoms usually resolve over time and with the peace of mind that the disorder is benign.

Debora Lehneis
Debora Lehneis

Award-winning food advocate. Subtly charming bacon practitioner. Alcohol enthusiast. Proud travel aficionado. Incurable twitter scholar.

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