Psychogenic basilar migraine: Report of four cases

F. Sanchez-Villasenor, Orrin Devinsky, B. Hainline, H. Weinreb, D. Luciano, B. Vazquez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


We discuss four patients with the clinical diagnosis of basilar migraine and suspected coexisting epilepsy who were referred to our epilepsy center. Their symptoms suggested episodic dysfunction in the distribution of the basilar artery, followed by pulsating headache with nausea. Verbal unresponsiveness and sensory symptoms occurred in all four patients; two also had focal paresis or jerking movements. Diagnostic studies excluded other disorders with similar symptoms. None of the patients improved with antimigraine or antiepileptic drugs. Provocation tests with suggestion elicited typical events in three patients and aura and headache in one patient. There were no EEG or ECG abnormalities during spontaneous or provoked episodes. Two patients improved with psychiatric treatment. Conversion disorder or malingering should be considered in patients whose symptoms of basilar migraine are atypical or refractory to treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1291-1294
Number of pages4
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1995
Externally publishedYes


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