Aura Symptoms Highly Variable in Patients With Migraine

What does migraine aura look like? And how do these visual manifestations differ between patients and in the same patient?These questions have intrigued neurologists for years, but getting clear-cut information has been difficult because most reports of migraine characteristics are retrospective — when asked, patients report details of their attack and how they felt after the fact.But now, researchers are delving deeper into the issue by using prospectively gathered reports and are turning up some surprising findings. For example, only about half of patients with migraine actually experience nausea, which is a main diagnostic symptom of migraine.From the 267 patient reports, the researchers collected data on 861 migraine attacks.The researchers found that the four most prevalent visual aura symptoms were:

  • Dots or flashing lights (recorded by 70% of patients);
  • Wavy or jagged lines (recorded by 47% of patients);
  • Blind spots (recorded by 42% of patients); and
  • Tunnel vision (recorded by 27% of patients).