Current Aura Without Headache

Divya R. Shah, Sonam Dilwali, Deborah I Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: This review evaluates and explains our current understanding of a rare subtype of migraine, typical aura without headache, also known as migraine aura without headache or acephalgic migraine. Recent Findings: Typical aura without headache is a known entity within the spectrum of migraine. Its pathophysiology is suggested to be similar to classic migraines, with cortical spreading depression leading to aura formation but without an associated headache. No clinical trials have been performed to evaluate treatment options, but case reports suggest that most patients will respond to the traditional treatments for migraine with aura. Bilateral greater occipital nerve blocks may be helpful in aborting migraine with prolonged aura. Transcranial magnetic stimulation has shown efficacy in aborting attacks of migraine with aura but has not been specifically tested in isolated aura. Summary: Typical aura without headache occurs exclusively in 4% patients with migraine, and may take place at some point in 38% of patients with migraine with aura. Typical aura without headache commonly presents with visual aura without headache, brainstem aura without headache, and can also develop later in life, known as late-onset migraine accompaniment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number77
JournalCurrent Pain and Headache Reports
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018


  • Acephalgic migraine
  • Migraine aura
  • Typical aura without headache

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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