Question: VP shunt malfunction. Long Migraines, other symptoms. Neurological Migraines?
I have a 23 year old developmentally delayed
daughter with a seizure disorder. She contracted E-Coli meningitis at 9 days old
with complicated hydrocephalus. Had last Vp shunt was placed 9 years ago. She
recently started in with symptoms of a shunt malfunction. It was replaced with
the shunt that has the magnet to dial in the pressure. We have made 11 trips to
the Dr. in the past five weeks to get her pressure right. She is still having
headaches and the Dr. is telling me that he suspects it to be migraines. He
prescribed Zomig for her and that made her hallucinate. I'm just curious to know
if you have heard of migraines that will last 7 days or more with no relief, but
maybe a few hours every 2-3 days for a few hours, then it reoccurs. The pain is
always located in the frontal part of her forehead. Are these neurological
migraines? Would appreciate ANY information you may be able to give me. Thank
I feel for what you and your family have gone through. I believe that all Migraines are neurologic in cause or nature. With shunt malfunction, that presumes increased intracranial fluid pressure. I've never had a patient hallucinate with Zomig or any other triptan, but anything is possible. I tend to think of cerebrospinal fluid pressure-related headaches as being different from Migraines per se. Which usually means they may not respond to medications that are useful for Migraines. I would seek a headache specialist in your area; there are medications that can reduce CSF pressure directly (i.e., acetazolamide). There's a link below to our directory of recommended specialists.
John Claude Krusz
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Published February 14, 2006