Skull damage, clean MRI, positive ANA...what does it mean?!? PLEASE help!

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Skull damage, clean MRI, positive ANA...what does it mean?!? PLEASE help!

Post  Quadill on Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:46 am

Hello all,
I am new to the blogging game but unfortunately not new to the migraine game :-/...for the sake of time conservation I will try to keep it brief. After several years of fighting the war with my brain I went to my family physician and approached the idea that, because of my family history (mother and maternal grandmother are migraine sufferers and maternal grandfather was a cluster headache sufferer), I wasn't just plagued with severe headaches every other day, but migraines. My physician accepted this and prescribed me a medication, Ketorolac possibly?, over the next year I was switched/prescribed to MANY different medications (some of which I had tried simply because my mother had them on hand). In 2009 I heard about Topamax so I began it. To date, I have had to increase the dosage at an alarming rate, this month alone I have gone up 100mg when it has taken me six months to increase by 50mg in the past. In January I decided I had had enough, a 12 day migraine stretch in which NONE of the 9 medications I had on hand worked (all tried at different times of course) suggested to me that something else could be going on...after looking into Neurologists in my area I scheduled an appointment and compiled a detailed family and personal history. When I looked in to my family's past I found brain tumors localized in general areas which I noted, but my own history was more interesting.
When I was six years old I was mauled by a neighbor's dog. I had received severe trauma to my face (which I had known) but my mother told me (after my initial neuro visit) that there had been damage to the skull. This facial and skull damage resulted in 107 stitches and surface scarring. She also informed me that I had been experiencing severe headaches in grade school around the age of 9 and my family doctor at the time attributed it to my eyesight and recommended I see an eye doctor. My eye doctor diagnosed me with a sensitivity to light and the issue was dropped. My visit to the neurologist was the first I have ever had (I am 21) and it is the first time anyone has broached the issue of imaging my brain. A blood work up was also done to test my thyroid, ANA, and another test that I do not recall...the only test that returned anything abnormal was my ANA. It was positive but the initial test was negative so my neuro said he wanted it retested in 6 months. My MRI with and without contrast came back 'normal as expected,' but when I asked if the test would show the presence of scar tissue would appear he said a CT scan would be a better test to detect it than the MRI. It was not ordered, so I do not know if I am to assume that he isn't worried...
My winded background is leading up to a few questions...has anyone else had trauma to their skull that has lead to migraines? If so, how have you gone about getting it diagnosed? It has not shown up on my MRI, but the horizontal scar that stretches from the top of one ear to the other is where my migraines have been localizing...the pressure gets so bad sometimes that I want to throw up! I can't stand to do anything but sleep and when I wake up they are still there and sometimes worse...they don't follow a pattern (I used to think lights were triggers but it doesn't matter and my cycle has no bearing on them). Is a CT scan better for detecting scarring? And if there is in fact scarring, what are the long term effects? Can the scarring be removed? What exactly is a positive ANA (googling it produces terrifying results)? The neuro said my numbers were low (I think)...What if it is high in six months?

Quadill

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Join date : 2011-03-11

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Re: Skull damage, clean MRI, positive ANA...what does it mean?!? PLEASE help!

Post  30yrsofheadache on Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:19 am

Hi, I am glad you found us! I have some of the same sitution as you. A big family history of migraine (both parents, grandfather, sister, daughter). I also have had multiple head injuries-car accident where I was thrown through the windshield, kicked in head by a horse, etc. I have had numerous scans and tests that showed nothing. I do have chronic Lyme disease which complicates things. I have had migraines since I was 13.

Anyway, what I am getting to is your migraines are probably hereditary and the rest has made them worse. I have never heard of removing scar tissue from the brain, so I cant advise you on that. I think the ANA marker is for inflammation, mine has been high several times from Lyme (not 100% sure on this). I would not spend too much time figuring out why you have migraine. Spend the time figuring out what you can do to prevent them or treat them! All of us go through the search for answers, very few find them. Good luck,
Hugs,
Cindy
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30yrsofheadache

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Re: Skull damage, clean MRI, positive ANA...what does it mean?!? PLEASE help!

Post  tortoisegirl on Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:43 pm

I don't have an answer on the skull damage, but I know a bit about positive ANAs (I have a negative one which doctors expect to be positive lol). A positive ANA can indicate something auto immune is going on, but not always. The majority of people who have auto immune conditions such as Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, etc, will have a positive ANA (the percentages depend on the condition). I expect your doctor will follow up about these results. Its never a good idea to work yourself up over something without the full story. It can change over time.

tortoisegirl

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Re: Skull damage, clean MRI, positive ANA...what does it mean?!? PLEASE help!

Post  Quadill on Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:57 pm

Thanks guys. I just all I can do is wait and see what happens.

Quadill

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Re: Skull damage, clean MRI, positive ANA...what does it mean?!? PLEASE help!

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