[Vertigo as a symptom of migraine]

T Lempert, H Neuhauser
Medizinische Klinik 2001 August 15, 96 (8): 475-9
EPIDEMIOLOGY: Since both migraine and vertigo are common complaints in clinical practice they may coincide in an individual patient just by chance. There are, however, numerous patients with vestibular symptoms caused by migraine, accounting for 6-8% of diagnoses in specialized dizziness clinics. CLINICAL MANIFESTATION: Migraine-associated vertigo is a vestibular disorder which manifests itself with spontaneous or positional rotational vertigo or dizziness induced by head motion. The vertigo may occur without accompanying headache and may last from seconds to several weeks. DIAGNOSIS: Migraine-associated vertigo can be diagnosed according to the following criteria: 1. recurrent vestibular symptoms, 2. migraine according to the criteria of the International Headache Society, 3. migrainous symptoms during the vertigo such as headache, photophobia, phonophobia, scintillating scotoma or other auras, 4. exclusion of other causes. PATHOPHYSIOLOGY: The mechanism of migraine-associated vertigo is still obscure. Several hypotheses relating to the pathophysiology of migraine have been proposed: cortical spreading depression, regional changes in brain perfusion, release of neurotransmitters and paroxysmal dysfunction of ion channels. Clinical findings suggest both central and peripheral vestibular involvement. THERAPY: Treatment is based on the repertoire of acute and prophylactic medications that are used for migrainous headaches. Controlled studies on the treatment of migraine-associated vertigo are still lacking.

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