Symptoms of Basilar-type Migraine

Basilar-type migraine is classified as a recognizable type of migraine disorder and is categorized under migraine with aura, sharing many similar symptoms.

This type of migraine can often occur alongside sensory auras and can be mistaken for hemiplegic migraine due to them both having many symptoms in common.

Basilar-type Migraine Symptoms

Basilar-type migraine episodes can be identified by sufferers experiencing extreme dizziness, major changes to vision or double vision, vertigo and lack of coordination. These symptoms can last for any period of time but in most circumstances end after approximately one hour.

They are then followed by head pain which, unlike other migraine types, is often concentrated in the base of the skull. The head pain associated with basilar-type migraines may not be a throbbing pain that is associated with other migraine types. It is also common for sufferers to experience problems after the migraine attack such as difficulty coordinating muscles or dizziness.

Other basilar-type migraine symptoms:

  • Any symptoms associated with migraine with aura
  • Partial paralysis
  • Numbness/tingling sensation on both sides of the body
  • Slow loss of consciousness
  • Loss of hearing
  • Lightheadedness
  • Difficulty with speech – problems articulating, difficulty moving the jaw/tongue, increasingly difficult to swallow

Basilar-type migraine symptoms

There have been many reports detailing the most common symptoms in basilar-type migraines and findings have been used to breakdown the most common symptoms by percentage of sufferers.

  • Vertigo – 73%
  • Lack of muscle coordination – 40-50%
  • Nausea – 30-50%
  • Problems with vision – 30-45%
  • Confusion – 20%
  • Weakness – 20%
  • Hearing problems – 10-15%

Causes of Basilar-type Migraine

The causes of basilar migraines are yet to be fully understood, however, research has provided thought that basilar-type migraines are caused by a narrowing of the blood vessels. There have also been studies conducted that link basilar-type migraines to a menstruation cycle, leading some people to believe that it is a type of menstrual migraine or at least related to the menstruation cycle in some form.

Another clinical trial has revealed that basilar-type migraine is most commonly found in children, with up to 20 per cent of children who suffer from migraines suffering from the symptoms of basilar-type migraine. This type of migraine generally begins at around the age of seven.