Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.


Prodrome Overview

Another name for Prodrome is Aura.

What is an aura?
An aura is a symptom most commonly experienced by a person with a seizure disorder. An aura precedes the actual seizure. It is often described as a sensation that a seizure is going to occur. Auras may be visual, (seeing flashing lights), auditory (hearing things) or olfactory (a certain smell). Auras can also be associated with migraine headaches.

What symptoms can be associated with an aura?
In the case of an aura due to a seizure, there may be episodes of staring, confusion, loss of awareness, loss of consciousness, shaking, loss of bladder control, and tongue biting. In those who suffer from migraine headaches, a visual aura is typically followed by the abrupt onset of a one-sided headache and nausea.

How does the doctor treat an aura?
The best way to control auras is to treat the underlying cause. Treatment for seizures usually includes anticonvulsant medications. In the migraine sufferer, there are medications that can be taken when the aura is first detected, so that the worst symptoms of the migraine headache can be avoided.

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