Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Strange head symptom

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 2 Replies
  • Posted By: HenryMiller
  • June 14, 2009
  • 11:57 PM

Hi all. I'm a 34 year old male. I've been in good health all of my life. About two weeks ago as I was walking into work, I had the strangest thing happen to me. I felt what can only be described as a seizure in my head. It only lasted for three to four seconds but certainly concerned me. It was as if an artery or vein was suddenly being electrocuted. It was very intense. I brushed it off as a one-off event. My father has been complaining about seizure-like symptoms his whole life, and he's still here.

One week later, it happens again, this time at work, on the job, talking to a coworker. I call my doctor who tells me that if it happens again, go to the hospital.

Three nights ago I'm hanging out with a buddy, having my third beer, playing some playstation when it happens again. Very intense shaking, or spasm/electrocuted feeling straight down the middle of my head. This one troubled me. I immediately felt weak and out of breath. I felt extremely winded as I was talking to my friend and he wasted no time in taking me to the ER. Before I sign in, the winded part passes. They take blood pressure and so on. I get a cat scan. It guess it showed nothing unusual because the Doctor tells me he doesn't think I had a stroke, or anything like that. Tells me I had dizziness from drinking, then a panic attack, tho I've never had any of them before in my life.

I'm not sure what to do from here. It was NOT dizziness. Dizziness is not a very intense shaking, or seizure-like throttling blasting straight through the skull, is it?

Should I just let it go at the cat scan and deal with it if it happens again?

Anybody ever heard of anything like this?

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2 Replies:

  • Well, a cerebrovascular accident or stroke is not a violent event, with a rather sublime consequence as the area of the brain affected begins to faulter. I would not have considered your symptoms to be due to a stroke. There are several things that need to be done here and the first is to obtain a referral to a neurologist. You need to have a sleep-deprived EEG performed to rule out partial seizure activity. Secondly, you need to be evaluated for migraine syndrome. Vasospasm is quite common in certain migraine variants and if warranted, the neurologist may also want to perform a vascular CT or MRA to rule out any abnormalities in the vessels of the brain which may exist. A panic threshold is not uncommon, although I would reserve judgment about whether it occurred until the results of the tests mentioned have been performed. The fact that you have a family history for seizure-like events makes it important to rule out several disorders. Best regards, J Cottle, MD
    JCottleMD 580 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hello HenryMiller :) I wanted to let you know that I understand exactly what you are describing. I have been experiencing these episodes for over 2 years. In the beginning they came in multiple attacks all day long. Now they are just a few each day. I'm no longer experiencing the electric zap feeling just the shaking. I feel it start in my spine between my shoulder blades and it radiates up to my head. I do not have a firm dx as yet but I do have other neurological signs and symptoms. Given your family history I would encourage you to see a neurologist and have an EEG done. ~Chilly
    chillypepper 1 Replies Flag this Response
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