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Papers of the Week

2023 Jan 09

Diagnostics (Basel)



Differential Diagnosis of Visual Phenomena Associated with Migraine: Spotlight on Aura and Visual Snow Syndrome.


Barral E, Martins Silva E, García-Azorín D, Viana M, Puledda F
Diagnostics (Basel). 2023 Jan 09; 13(2).
PMID: 36673062.


Migraine is a severe and common primary headache disorder, characterized by pain as well as a plethora of non-painful symptoms. Among these, visual phenomena have long been known to be associated with migraine, to the point where they can constitute a hallmark of the disease itself. In this review we focus on two key visual disorders that are directly or indirectly connected to migraine: visual aura and visual snow syndrome (VSS). Visual aura is characterized by the transient presence of positive and negative visual symptoms, before, during or outside of a migraine attack. VSS is a novel stand-alone phenomenon which has been shown to be comorbid with migraine. We discuss key clinical features of the two disorders, including pathophysiological mechanisms, their differential diagnoses and best treatment practices. Our aim is to provide an aid for clinicians and researchers in recognizing these common visual phenomena, which can even appear simultaneously in patients with an underlying migraine biology.