Sporadic hemiplegic migraine (SHM) is defined as migraine attacks associated with some degree of motor weakness/hemiparesis during the aura phase and where no first degree relative (parent, sibling or child) has identical attacks. The present review deals with recent scientific studies according to which: The SHM prevalence is estimated to be 0.005%; SHM patients have clinical symptoms identical to patients with familial hemiplegic migraine (FHM) and significantly different from patients with migraine with typical aura (typical MA); SHM affected had no increased risk of migraine without aura (MO), but a highly increased risk of typical MA compared to the general population; SHM patients only rarely have mutations in the FHM gene CACNA1A; SHM attacks in some cases can be treated with Verapamil. The reviewed data underlie the change in the International Classification of Headache Disorders 2nd edition where SHM became separated from migraine with typical aura or migraine with prolonged aura. All cases with motor weakness should be classified as either FHM or SHM.
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