What is alternating hemiplegic migraine?

Updated: Oct 16, 2019
  • Author: Rima M Dafer, MD, MPH, FAHA; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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Alternating hemiplegia primarily occurs in childhood (hence the name alternating hemiplegia of childhood [AHC]) and is a chronic progressive disorder, associated with a high prevalence of neurologic deficit. [31] This condition is distinguished from FHM by its infantile onset and by its characteristic associated symptoms. [32]

The onset of the disorder is before age 18 months, [33] and it is characterized by vomiting, headache, alternating hemiplegia, loss of consciousness, paroxysmal ocular palsies, choreoathetosis, autonomic dysfunction, and mental retardation. [34, 35] Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) studies have shown progressive decrease of cerebral perfusion in cases of alternating hemiplegic migraine.

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