Our Evolving Understanding of Migraine with Aura

  • Justin M. DeLange
  • F. Michael CutrerEmail author
Migraine (R Cowan, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Migraine


Migraine aura consists of fully reversible focal neurologic symptoms that may precede or coexist with headache in a significant minority of migraine patients. Typical aura symptoms include visual, sensory, and language disturbances. The most recent International Classification of Headache Disorders, 3rd edition (beta version) has added other aura types such as brainstem localizing symptoms, lateralizing weakness, and monocular visual loss. Currently available data from animal models and functional neuroimaging in humans implicate cortical spreading depression (CSD) as the phenomenon underlying migraine aura. Ongoing study suggests that susceptibility to migraine aura and CSD may be genetically mediated. CSD appears to be a potential target for future development of migraine-specific preventive therapies.


Migraine Aura Focal neurologic symptoms Cortical spreading depression 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Justin M. DeLange and F. Michael Cutrer each declare that they have no potential conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mayo ClinicRochesterUSA

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