Vertigo and Migraine

Vertigo is a common symptom in patients with migraine headaches.  It appears that obverse is also true – migraine is very common in patients with vertigo.  A study just published in Cephalalgia looked at 208 patients with benign recurrent vertigo.  It turned out that 87%, or 180 of these patients had migraine headaches.  Of these 180 patients, 112 or 62% had migraine with aura and 38% had migraine without aura.  Thirty percent, or 54 patients always had vertigo without any migraine symptoms, while in 70% vertigo occurred with a headache or other migraine symptoms, such as visual aura, sensitivity to light and noise.  The duration of attacks of vertigo in most patients was between one hour and one day.

  1. lisa Tarashuk says: 05/17/20099:06 am

    Thank you for your immediate reply. I am currently treated at the New England Regional Headache Clinic In Worcester, MA. My doctor does not perform magnesium infusions. Do you know of a doctor in Massachusetts that will. I am scheduled to see another neurologist to have the vertigo further evaluated so I will mention the other medications that you referred to. Thank you. It sounds like the vertigo is related to the migraine syndrome but I think my doctor wants to make sure by ruling other conditions out as well. I am planning to buy your book to try some of your dietary recommendations. I am also planning to try the magnesium. Is it 4o0 mg a day that you recommend? Thank you.

  2. Dr. Mauskop says: 05/15/200910:14 pm

    A variety of treatments can be attempted for persistent dizziness and vertigo, including acupuncture, intravenous magnesium infusions, medications, such as acetazolamide, gabapentin and other, as well as supplements, such as Petadolex, CoQ10 and other.

  3. lisa Tarashuk says: 05/15/20096:14 pm

    I often have the feeling of being off balance and dizzy but have had episodes of vertigo without ever getting a migraine. I get daily headaches generally but these dizzy or off balance episodes appear to have replaced my headaches. I am on topamax, amytryptlyine and Vitamin B2 and also have botox every 12 weeks. Will anything else help with the dizziness and vertigo. I am prescribed meclzine but it does not reallyl help. Thank you.

  4. Dr. Mauskop says: 05/14/200912:46 pm

    Yes, some migraine sufferers have persistent dizziness or vertigo between migraine attacks, and even without having a migraine attack for a long time. Nystagmus can also occur, but usually other causes need to be ruled out by doing an MRI scan. Treatment of migraine headaches with supplements, drugs or Botox injections often improve dizziness as well.

  5. Theresa says: 05/14/200912:05 pm

    Is it possible to almost constantly have vertigo (not spinning, but rather a feeling of off-balance) with migraine? I have the actual headache about 1-2 times a week, but the rest of the time I have these feelings of off balance. Is there any research associated nystagmus (eye beating) with migraine and dizziness? Is the triple therapy of magnesium, riboflavin and feverfew effective in treating dizziness related to migraine?

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