A disease by any other name



February 20, 2019 - 9:32 AM

DEAR DR. ROACH: How does a medical condition get named? Once named, can the name be changed? I have a condition called hemiplegic migraines. Many people with the condition feel it should be renamed because the term “migraine” makes it seem less serious. Some were saying to call it TSS for “temporary stroke syndrome,” because it presents as a stroke but is temporary. What are your thoughts? — E.D.V.


ANSWER: Hemiplegic migraine is a rare disorder that is much more common in women and often runs in families. As its name and you suggest, it is different from a regular migraine because it causes motor weakness during the aura phase. This can be terrifying for both the patient and the physician, as it can be indistinguishable from a stroke.

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