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Neurology. 2000 Jul 12;55(1):139-41.

Aura in some patients with familial hemiplegic migraine can be stopped by intranasal ketamine.

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  • 1Institute of Neurology, The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London, UK.


Migraine aura is probably caused by cortical-spreading depression. No treatment for acute and severe migraine aura has been described previously. The effect of ketamine (25 mg intranasally) was studied in 11 patients with severe, disabling auras resulting from familial hemiplegic migraine. In five patients ketamine reproducibly reduced the severity and duration of the neurologic deficits, whereas in the remaining six patients no beneficial effect was seen. Ketamine offers, for the first time, a possible treatment option for severe and prolonged aura.

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