Ophthalmoplegic migraine with isolated third cranial nerve palsy in a known case of juvenile myoclonic epilepsy

Aakash Shetty, Supriya Khardenavis, Anirudda Deshpande

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Among the various forms of migraine headaches, ophthalmoplegic migraine is an uncommon and rare form, the incidence of which is approximately 0.7 per million. It presents predominantly with headache and ophthalmoplegia. One of more cranial nerves can be affected, however the third cranial nerve is most often affected. As a result, symptoms wise, mydriasis and ptosis are commonly seen. Patients generally recover completely within a few days or weeks, however residual deficits are known to occur in a minority of patients. One of the common generalised epilepsy syndromes is the juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME), its prevalence being roughly up to 10% of all patients with epilepsy. It usually begins in the second decade of life. Generalised tonic-clonic seizures myoclonic jerks absences constitute the main seizure types in JME. Studies indicate a definite association of epilepsy with migraine headaches and a significant number of migraneurs are found to be epileptic. Conversely, patients with epilepsy are two times more likely to have migraine, as compared to their first degree relatives without migraine. We report a known case of a female patient of JME having a history of classical migraine with aura presenting to us with headache and ophthalmoplegia. She was extensively evaluated to rule out other causes of isolated third cranial nerve palsy, with all the investigations being negative for any obvious cause. She was treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for the acute attack and was subsequently put on antimigraine medication, propranolol during her hospital stay, with which her ptosis recovered completely after 2 weeks. The patient was later started on tablet divalproex sodium, which the patient continues to take on a long-term basis, especially because of its efficacy as an antimigraine prophylaxis agent and a potent drug against JME.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMJ Case Reports
Publication statusPublished - 02-12-2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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