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Migraines & Headaches Health Center

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Janet Jackson's Vestibular Migraines: FAQ

Questions and Answers About Jackson's Vestibular Migraines

What causes vestibular migraine?

"It used to be thought to be due to a loss of circulation to the back of the brain, but now we believe it's a neurologic abnormality in the functioning of the back of your brain," says Diamond.

How are vestibular migraines treated?

No drug specifically treats vestibular migraines, but there are drugs that can treat vertigo and migraine separately.

Diamond says taking preventative migraine drugs may help curb vestibular migraines. But Maizels says it's possible for vestibular migraine patients to still get vertigo symptoms if they're only taking migraine drugs.

"I've found folks with vestibular migraines are more difficult to treat," says Maizels.

How common are vestibular migraines?

Vestibular migraines are "uncommon," says Maizels. Diamond calls them "rare" and estimates that only one or two in a thousand migraine patients have vestibular migraines.

Is there an age when vestibular migraines typically start?

Most people are diagnosed in their late teens or early 20s, "but it can happen later on in life," says Diamond. No information is available on whether Jackson's vestibular migraines are new or a flare-up of an existing condition.

"If this suddenly occurs out of the blue and you're over 40, you need to be seen by your doctor and they need to make sure that there's nothing else going on," says Diamond.

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