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Fainting and Migraines/Abnormal EEG

My daughter, who is 19, started having migraines several years ago.  She was treated with topomax and her migraines went away.  Then, several months ago, she started having "tightness" and "pressure" in her head again.  Sometimes she would have pain in the front side of her head and the back of the other side of her head.  Then she started passing out.  It appeared that she would just fall asleep and she would stay that way for up to 10 minutes or more.  When she "woke up", she would be scared and say that she could hear everything we would say but couldn't move or speak.  This frightened all of us, and we took her to doctor(s) and eventually had her admitted to the hospital for tests.  Her heart seemed to be fine but her SED rates were elevated.  Thorough tests were conducted and all the worst possibilities were eliminated, but she continued to pass out.  The results of her LP showed a slight increase in spinal fluid pressure, and at the time she was just slightly overweight.  They withdrew some spinal fluid but that didn't seem to make any difference in her condition. Also, a 24 hour EEG was done.  The results were a little confusing.  It showed that she wasn't having siezures, but that her brain waves were like those of someone who does have seizures.  (I hope I explained that correctly).  Also, she seemed to respond positively to having lots of fluids -- just like someone who was dehydratged, yet she wasn't ever diagnosed as being dehydrated.  Once she received more fluids and had a steroid shot into each side of the back of her head, she began to improve.  She started back on topomax and has a regular check-up scheduled with her Neurologist in another 3 months.  She's only passed out a couple more times since then, but still continues to have some tightness in her head occasionally.  Also, since then she complains about being cold all the time, even when it is fairly warm outside.  Before we go back to the doctor for another check up, I'd love to know if her EEG results are something anyone else has seen or experienced before and if the feeling of being cold is related in any way to the migraine diagnosis or topomax?  (Also, since then she has started taking low dosages of birth control pills to regulate her periods -- before she was in the hospital she had missed 3 in a row).  Thank you!!
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Avatar universal

I would like to explain a concept here. The word “seizure” means an episode of abnormal nervous system function. And it may or may not be associated with “convulsions”, which are characteristic body movements… like jerks.

Now you can understand why the EEG showed seizure but you did not observe anything. She may be having “atonic seizures”, when she may or may not lose consciousness, and definitely does not have any movements of the body.  This is just one possibility.

Just Check the thyroid functions.


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Avatar universal
Hi I've just done some internet searches for headakes and abnormal eeg this evening found your posting and thought you might be intrested in my story.

I'm a 25 year old guy from Australia, Back when I was in primery school at about 10 years of age I started haveing migrain headakes, I was taking a dose of paracetomil a day, I was eventualey put on Periaction Migrain meds. Which did stop the headakes,

I was also haveing great issues with computer use, at this time when ever I used a computer for more than say 25min I'ed get a really bad headake and than vomit, ( Right about how I'm feeling now actallly )
I was also haveing ticks.
this continued for a little while when my peaditrishion had me sent off for an EEG ( just a normal one that's done in the dc's rooms ) It came back as abnormal, I was put on Tegretol tablets they cleared up all my simptoms and I've been headake free for many many years now ticks have gone and i've been living a normal life ( other than the fact I'm on lots of other meds ) I also came off pereiactoin.

However I've recently ( last 4 months or so ) I've  started having headakes again with computer use, and am puzzled as to why, if anyone has any ideas I'ed be grateull for any info you might beable to pass my way.

If The gentalman above wishes to contact me also about how his daughters doing etc  I'm happy to accpet any advice he my beable to give as well!

Many thanks David.

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Avatar universal
Hi David,

How are you? It is possible that use of computer triggers your headaches. Primary headaches like migraine, tension or cluster headaches are usually headaches with no underlying cause and can recur if certain triggers are met. It would help if you identify these triggers- aside from computer use, what other factors you were exposed to that could have led to your headache. Try to avoid these triggers to prevent recurrences. There is a headache tracker here in Medhelp that may help. Rest, ice packs and prescription medications may help. Take care and regards.
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Avatar universal
My daughter, age 24 started with migraines around 14yo. About three years ago she started fainting, not always accompanied by a headache but the neurologist diagnosed migraines after all test cames back clear.  To describe the faint (syncope), she would usually have an aura with the sensation of losing her hearing and having tunnel vision, then she would go into a very short lived trance where she could here people but she was unable to talk.  Seizures were ruled out. She was put on Topomax and the migraines lessened considerably to 3 or so a month from 3/wk. The syncope episodes do seem to coincide somewhat with stressful situations.  Her last one had no aura at all. She works in a hospital and was taken to the ER and all blood tests came back normal.  On occasion she has vomited after an episode. Can this really all be migraine??? One last oddity, the other day she said her hand contracted with numbness up to the elbow which last for 20 minutes. Do you think we are missing something in her diagnosis? (She is not overweight)
Much appreciated
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3147704 tn?1343153362
Scariest thing ever!!!  You just described my life!!!  I have passed out 9 times now, and am also on Topamax.  The last one I'm told was a seizure, and I go to the doctor tomorrow, because my EEG as abnormal, and we are going to discuss it.  This has come out of the blue for me, I as diagnosed with a Migraine in April, 2006 and it has NEVER gone away.  Now along with the headache, I have been told I have Myofacial muscle pain, Fibromyalgia, Hemicrainia Continua, Scoliosis, and now?? Possibly Epilepsy?? Is there an answer??
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