Sporadic and familial hemiplegic migraine: Diagnosis and treatment

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Hemiplegic migraine is a rare subtype of migraine with aura associated with transient hemiplegia. The weakness is caused by motor aura. Hemiplegic migraine is the only headache syndrome associated with known genetic mutations and serves as a model for understanding more common varieties of migraine. Because the phenotype includes striking yet transient neurological signs and symptoms, it is imperative that clinicians know the differential diagnosis to rule out possible secondary etiologies when treating patients with hemiplegic spells. Hemiplegic migraine occurs with equal prevalence in either a sporadic or familial form differentiated only by family history. Thus far, treatment trials are anecdotal, although verapamil and acetazolamide have shown promise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)208-216
Number of pages9
JournalSeminars in Neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2006


  • Familial hemiplegic migraine
  • Migraine genetics
  • Sporadic hemiplegic migraine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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