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June 1982

Olfactory Hallucination in Migraine

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology, University of Kansas College of Health Sciences and Hospital, Kansas City.

Arch Neurol. 1982;39(6):382. doi:10.1001/archneur.1982.00510180060017

THE following case report, we believe, may be the first in which olfactory hallucinations occurred as an aura in migraine.

REPORT OF A CASE  A 32-year-old right-handed woman was examined for headache. Unilateral, incapacitating, predominantly right-sided headaches associated with nausea and vomiting had occurred repeatedly since adolescence. "Sick headaches" were reported in the paternal grandmother and aunt, as well as in the patient's younger son.The patient, before the onset of headache, would usually be aware of dark spots or lines passing across her visual field. During the past year, she also often noticed premonitory transient odors, which she described as most unpleasant, "like a decaying animal." These accompanied visual scotomata. They occurred about 20 minutes before the onset of a typical headache, and disappeared before or at onset of headache.There was no history of seizure disorder, head injury, or serious medical illness.The physical and neurological examinations

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