Migraines and stroke risk and “white spot... - Migraine Support

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Migraines and stroke risk and “white spots on the brain”


I went to see a neurologist at my local hospital today about visual migraines, which I only started getting a couple of years ago , at the age of 63, and which have increased in frequency recently. I expected this to be a straightforward matter of getting some advice and possibly medication, but have been referred for an MRI and another scan which involves “rubbing jelly on your neck” (not sure what test this is). Apparently, this is to check blood flow to the brain - but she mentioned that people with migraines are more prone to strokes and said she wanted to rule out my having had a “mini-stroke” , although I am unaware of any evidence concerning this. She also said that she wanted to see if I had white spots on the brain. She added that these were a normal part of the ageing process and “I have them, you have them and (pointing to the nurse) she has them.” (the nurse, understandably, didn’t look particularly happy at this point). However, she added that “if there are too many of them we will have a chat.” I didn’t like the sound of that- all in all a rather alarming consultation. Does anybody know anything about this sort of testing- does it sound like a routine test to rule out something which is not very likely, or does it sound sinister? I asked my GP to send me to a neurologist-he didn’t seem to think it necessary- and am now beginning to regret it. I feel as if I have put my head in the lions mouth.

5 Replies

I replied to your post - similar - on the AF forum. My neurologist says you are ‘allowed’ 2 white spots for ever decade of life - after my TIA I had 2 white spots for my 6 decades which is quite acceptable.

Scans are none invasive & pretty quick - 20 mins in the scanner which is noisy but they give you earphones & play music. They are nothing to worry about. The neck echo is even quicker & a bit like the sort of scan you have when pregnant - it’s just to check your arteries are ok so enough blood is getting to brain.

Sounds like they are being very thorough & I would be worrying if they weren’t doing these scans.

in reply to CDreamer

Yes, the neurologist is being thorough but I always worry about the possibility of a bad result!

I have many white spots (chronic ischemic micro-vascular disease} they said possibly result of many mini-strokes, there is no fix, but do take small amount of aspirin daily it sucks that this seems to be one of those areas they know little about(I never had anything that I'd recognize as a stroke)

Did you had a lot of AF before the MRI?

never had Atrial Fibrillation

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