National Migraine Centre
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Migraine + aura: Is there a link?

My 63 year old father has been suffering cluster migraines and migraines with aura for the past 45 years. Worringly, over the past two years he has had three DVT's - the last clot he had broke apart and made it to one of his lungs. At first, the specialists suspected he may have a pulmonary embolism, but this was found not to be the case. As my father suffered a mild heart attack 15 years ago, he had numerous tests (echo tests, etc) and was given the all clear.

It is my suspicion that the root of his DVT may be connected to his migraines. During some initial research, I found evidence to suggest that migraine with aura may be an independent risk factor for stroke, involving prothrombin factor 1 and the activation of the coagulation system in the brain . Is there sufficient eveidence to support this proposition? What is currently known about migraines with aura and DVT?

Some family history : my father is one of six. 3 of his siblings have both bipolar and peti(sp? ) or grand mal epilepsy. I have bipolar and several of my cousins and his other siblings experience migraine with aura.

Just before i go, my father visited a haematologist who told him he didnt believe the DVT was related to the migraines. However , I believe a second opinion is warranted.

Any infomation would be greatly appreciated

11 Replies

Sorry that was meant to read "DVT + migraine w aura : is there a link?"


Hi this is quite likely to be Hughes Syndrome/APS, there is a forum on this platform connected to the charity, many of our members from HSF are on here for other migraine advice and vice versa. The blood tests are easy for a GP to do but are a bit sensitive so better to do them in the hospital or first thing in the morning to make sure they do not hang about. So do stay on this forum but also take a look at the links I have sent you.

and the charity which has a live link to forum on this platfom:

I will also add that the charity has a list of specialists across the UK private and NHS ones who understand the condition. It is also possible to be sero negative and for it not to show up first time around in blood tests. MaryF



Thanks for your reply . I will check it out. Ps , Im actually in Perth, Australia . If you know any specialists there, please let me know, thanks !


Yes I do, we have many Australians on our forum: you can contact some names on here: to find out who can help you.



My fathers migraines came long before he had any clotting problems. We have the bipolar-epilepsy-migraine "trifecta" in my family and i feel that my father's DVT problems are somehow related to these inherited features. Is there a specialist in this field? I basically need someone who knows everything lol


Often the wider family will have all sorts of migraine problems, strange epilepsy, thyroid problems and other autoimmue disease plus miscarriages, this condition can happen with men, I have this condition as does my daughter who also has Lupus, plus my youngest son has this as did my late father!

Let me know how you get on, I administrate the HSF forum on here. MaryF


Hey, I have just checked PubMed, which is a large database of published scientific articles that scientists can go to, and I found eight publications for the search term "DVT and migraine" - I just think evidence is generally pretty small in migraine research and whether DVT and migraines are related is just really not clear, I think. So even a second opinion might not give you a definite answer.

1 like

There are plenty of articles on Antiphospholipid Syndrome, Hughes Syndrome etc: rheumatology.oxfordjournals...



Another thing you could look into is B12 levels. B12 deficiency has a wide range of consequences which include cardiovascular problems as well as migraines and depression and psychosis

Check list of symptoms can be found here


Unfortunately many doctors still work under the misapprehension that B12 deficiency means anaemia but anaemia is a sytmptom that doesn't manifest first in significant numbers of sufferers.

Deficiency is caused by either not having any B12 in your diet (only found in animal products) or because somethign happens that upsets what is a rather specialist process in the ileum where most of the B12 is absorbed.

Age is a definite factor as stomach acid levels fall and this makes absorption less efficient.

There is a forum run by the PAS which deals with B12 deficiency on Health Unlocked.

Hope you manage to find a solution.


No it is nothing like that he has been having migraines for 45 years its not a deficiency .it is linked to the bipolar snd epilepsy in our family.

Nobodyseems to be listening to me so ill find my answer elsewhere


i suffered from depression and anxiety for decades but they went quite quickly after I discovered I had a B12 deficiency that at that point was affecting my balance etc and figured out how to treat myself with the doses I need.

B12 Deficiency is a serious and life threatening condition - pretty sure it is what caused the heart attacks that killed my father in his 60s. It generally has little to do with diet and everything to do with genetic factors


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