Most of my reading about typical migraine medications discusses the the reduction in migraine frequency - e.g. Medication X causes a reduction from 5 times per month down to twice per month. For me (and I presume most MAVers) this does not correlate with our experience as my migraine isn’t a discrete event but a continuous set of symptoms that fluctuate over time. This seems to be a clear distinction for (at least some of) us lucky MAV people as opposed to “classic” migraine sufferers.

Therefore the following link is quite interesting - it is a potential diagnostic tool for MAV. Hopefully it can be found in the UK also.


Presumably you understand this ‘techno’ stuff! It sounds an interesting way of getting a diagnosis but could you please explain how this technology works (in layman’s terms). Thanks


Unfortunately I’ve no medical training - so while I’m not qualified to explain the techno stuff, I’ve been using the internet to “translate” techno terms into something that I can make sense of.

From what I can make out the article essentially says:

*When people with MAV are connected up to a machine which measures electrical activity of the brain (an EEG machine), they shows a higher levels of electrical brain activity than those people who have other reasons for their dizziness.

How did they come to this conclusion? They used the EEG machine and strobe lighting on 36 patients who were already diagnosed and compared the results.*

They do appear cautious with the result - maybe because of the small sample size. I’ll try to find out more, particularly if there are plans for a wider study.


Thanks for this Sparks. I have always wondered what an EEG would produce in terms of results for a MAV-er.

My guess is no one has ever started down that route because it’s an expensive testing route- I think it costs about £750 privately in the UK. If the NHS were suddenly expected to test everyone with migraine who presented with dizziness for any amount of time, well, it just wouldn’t be feasible… BUT what about those of us, who arguably, are amongst the minority, who present with constant 24/7 imbalance. It would be very interesting. Looks like we would actually likely show an ‘abnormal’ EEG thus proving we do have MAV.

As MAV is a diagnosis of exclusion, I think EEG’s should play a more pivotal role in the diagnosis part. What does anyone else think?

The same researchers also talk of defining a new syndrome for chronic headache and dizziness (which they dub Cephalic hypersensitivity syndrome) but this may be a translation issue from Japanese. I can only read the abstract at present - but i’ll try to get the full text as they did use the Brain Activity Scanner on 1000 patients so it was a pretty big study.

This is really interesting. About 1.5 years before I was diagnosed with MAV I had 3 separate EEGs, including a week long inpatient stay with sleep deprivation every other night. The doctors were concerned that my dizziness and lightheadedness was being caused by small seizures. After all the testing, the conclusion was “abnormal” or “suspicious” brain activity, but no seizures. None of the doctors could explain it, just said there were abnormalities but not strong enough to treat.

The MAV diagnosis makes sense to me and we’re working on finding a treatment, but I’ve always had that abnormal EEG in the back of my mind. It would be nice to know it’s all part of the same issue.