The Vestibular Migraine Community

Seizures or brain zaps/anxiety?


#1

I posted on here a while ago but the dizzy rush sensations I was getting when tilting my head to the right and how i was diagnosed with BPPV.

I was positive on the Epley/Dx Hallpike at one point but that is now negative (no nystagmus) and I have had the full ear work up with goggles and all. There is no damage to my vestibular system at all. I am still having these dizzy rushes though. They feel like brain zaps and they are usually positional. Tilting my head when on the phone, looking up from computer, etc. They don’t always happen in those positions which is also weird.

I was actually on the way to see an ENT when I was on the phone, looked up and had the rush, spell. It feels like a dizzy rush/shot of adrenaline/brain zap. It could also happen if I am walking around. like someone just pushed me from behind. I just had an MRI which was normal, CT Scan normal, blood normal.

I went to the neurologist who said sounds like anxiety but wants to rule out complex seizures as according to her, they can also feel like panic attacks. I’m scared because these dizzy sensations last second whereas classic panic lasts 5-10 minutes that starts with certain thoughts. These can happen at any time.

What are the chances these are seizure activity?


#2

I had similar symptoms: brain zaps and the other one that is like a light version of the brain zap with a weird movement that last a fraction of a second. I thought that was due to taking anti depressants


#3

This sounds similar to what happens to me. The closest description I could find is a “drop attack:”

https://www.dizziness-and-balance.com/disorders/central/drop.html


#4

oh my word … “seizures” … I don’t think so … “anxiety” well who wouldn’t be?

BUT I wonder if you are simply having very short leaks of fluid from your inner ear, stimulating the balance sense and giving your that short ‘rush’ feeling. I’ve had similar sensations. You have a history of BPPV, which imho is not about crystals being out of place, this is also possibly a positional leakage of perilymph fluid. I get mine now only when in bed when head pressure is its highest. My doctor agrees with me these are not BPPV but positional leaks.

This could all be due to a mild bit of hydrops in your ear (which is btw, what I believe MAV is).

Perhaps the shortness of these sensations suggests things are getting better?

Best thing to do is to try the MAV diet?


#5

Ya, seizures. Focal seizures. I highly doubt this but these doctors got to throw out something even when they don’t know.


#6

Yeah, they talk a lot of rubbish and simply don’t have enough information and science to go on unfortunately. I doubt there is anything wrong with your brain and its a sense issue, but please go ahead and get to the bottom of any possible diagnoses.


#7

I’m sure the MRI would have picked up some lesion or something if there had been seizure activity for the last 8 months.


#8

I have the same thing have you found any cure? I am seeing a neurologist today, praying for some help


#9

have you had anyone mention ‘catastrophic otolithic events’? or Tumarkin attacks? I think they are the same thing you are talking about.

it’s not actually catastrophic, but it feels that way.

otolothic crystals moving suddenly create the sensation of being thrown across the room - and the body can respond to stop it happening, which actually makes it happen! it’s a bit like BPPV but with a loose cannon crystal rather than one that’s only triggered by certain motions, i think.

ignore any daft neurologists who says it’s anxiety or panic attacks. it’s not. it might cause you panic or anxiety - in fact, it would be pretty weird if it didn’t cause anxiety and panic if you don’t know what just happened.

i haven’t had this particular symptom - it doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun.

good luck!


#10

I have had an “otolith crisis” when getting up too fast after the Epley Maneuver. These dizzy rushes are not that. Usually, with this crisis you feel as if you are on a rollercoaster and have no knowledge of up or down so you just fall to the floor. What I have is not this.

It feels more like someone is grabbing me from the back of neck or a sudden rush of adrenaline.


#11

I have not found a cure except for it being anxiety. Another possible explanation is the atlas joint below the neck. Usually, these types of symptoms are exasperated by computer use or neck tension. Not enough blood flow or neck mobility can cause spasming of the cervical joints. The only abnormality any test ever revealed was a misalignment of my atlas joint.


#12

Thank you for responding, may I ask what state you are in?


#13

I am in Toronto, Ontario. I’ve had every test under the sun (except an EEG to rule out seizure activity). It’s highly unlikely these are seizures, and three other neurologists have also agreed these are not seizures. Reducing stress has also reduced the occurrence of dizzy spells. However, I still feel off-balance and dizzy with any sudden head movements. I don’t take any breaks while on the computer and this may be a preview of my problem.


#14

Thank you again, I believe they are from coming off antidepressants but I can’t find a doctor that knows how to deal with this. hope you get better and I am praying I do too. God bless you.


#15

I read that some people need to go back on the anti depressant to make them stop but using a different one with a longer short life (like fluoxetine). They go away eventually


#16

I have read 5 - HTP is a supplement that increases serotonin. Very useful when weaning off anti-depressants especially stuff like Effexor which can be difficult to wean off. 5-HTP is available over the counter and amazon.


#17

I have no nystagmus anymore when the dx-hallpike is done, however, I had it done today and I am extremely dizzy. I feel that I am being pushed at times. Can this aggravate vestibular migraine if its not BPPV?


#18

SORRY i HAD THE EPLEY done, and i feel more dizzy although negative for nystagmus.


#19

In my humble opinion yes. I’m not sure BPPV is what the medical community tell you it is but for some people the treatment works apparently. Good luck to them. However there is a risk of worsening your condition with repeated exercises which Hain talks about.

I have positional vertigo but it’s definitely a leak thing due to head pressure (and so happens when I recline). I am now almost able to avoid vertigo by being careful how I sleep. Almost. Unfortunately it’s very hard to determine the position you end up in bed when you have a particularly good sleep.