Basilar Migraines

After Gayla posted her story I thought I would ask how many other people have Basilar Migraines, what their symptoms are and, if they are controlled, what has helped them? I tend to get ~ 5 a week. I get a terrible migraine of course with the usual awful nausea, I either can not talk completely or have dysarthria and can speak only gibberish. I have either complete (temporary) paralysis or paresis, loss of balance reactions, right hand/arm tremors and head tremors. I do not know if others can see the head tremors or I can just feel them in my body. My husband says it looks like am having a stroke. Powerful triggers are florescent lighting or strong sunlight & fatigue. I use a wheelchair so they would often occur if I was talking to someone who was standing and I was naturally looking up. My eyes would hit the florescent light and within 2-5 seconds I would lose control of my speech. Sometimes I am not sure of the trigger.
I went to a neuro-optomotrist and have specially tinted glasses and they seem to be helping with the light-associated HAs, but I am still having 5 Basilar Migraines a week, so they are still not under control. Does any one else have experience with these?



This was my first diagnosis at the neurologist many years ago. My migraines were always at the back of the head (like being hit over the neck with an iron bar). They used to last 3 days. I have kept a diary for years and the severe vertigo attacks were generally the day before or the day after a severe migraine. I also got the flashing zig zag lights quite often. I sometimes got my words back to front. Never had the paralysis and only minimal tingling. After that, I was diagnosed with menieres, (then not), then vestibular migraine. There was a warning on the leaflet not to take tryptans with this type of migraine so I only tried them briefly. I used to get these 3 days on, 3 days off for a good number of years and always had one on day 3 of my period.

All those years back, sanomigran helped me with the bad heads but not so much on the dizziness. I never got on with other preventatives. In the end I stuck with painkillers and ice. As the years have gone on, those real bad migraines have reduced a lot.


Well, Christine, I guess we are one of the few and the brave! (that’s from a commercial about the marines in the US for those of you that live abroad). Doesn’t seem like many others have Basilar Migraines. Guess that makes us special!