This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Migraine with brainstem aura (MBA) is a type of migraine headache with aura that is associated with pain at the back of the head on both sides. An aura is a group of symptoms that generally serve as a warning sign that a bad headache is coming. Auras may consist of dizziness and vertigo, slurred speech, ataxia, tinnitus, visual changes, and/or loss of balance. Although MBA can occur in men and women of all ages, they are most common in adolescent girls. The exact underlying cause of MBA is poorly understood. Migraines are likely complex disorders that are influenced by multiple genes, in combination with lifestyle and environmental factors. In rare cases, susceptibility to MBA may be caused by a change (mutation) in the ATP1A2 gene or CACNA1A gene. Treatment during an episode may include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and antiemetic medications to help ease the symptoms.
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