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What causes auras in silent migraines?

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Auras appear to be a case of overstimulation of the nerve cells, followed by a drop-off of activity in the brain. The decrease literally spreads across the top layer, or cortex, of your brain. It often travels from the visual part of the brain (occipital lobe) to the body sensation part of the brain (parietal lobe) to the hearing part of the brain (temporal lobe). This mirrors the visual, sensation, and hearing symptoms common to migraine.

You can see this wave, called cortical spreading depression, with a functional MRI, which is a high-tech way of mapping how the brain works.

From: Silent Migraines WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

National Headache Foundation: "Headache - Frequently Asked Questions."

National Library of Medicine: "Migraine with Aura."

Migraine Research Foundation: "About Migraine."

eMedicine.com: "Pathophysiology and Treatment of Migraine and Related Headache."

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "21st Century Prevention and Management of Migraine Headaches."

News release, FDA.

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on November 12, 2017

SOURCES:

National Headache Foundation: "Headache - Frequently Asked Questions."

National Library of Medicine: "Migraine with Aura."

Migraine Research Foundation: "About Migraine."

eMedicine.com: "Pathophysiology and Treatment of Migraine and Related Headache."

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "21st Century Prevention and Management of Migraine Headaches."

News release, FDA.

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on November 12, 2017

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Is it common to get a headache if you have a stroke?

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