These are questions with answers that are most commonly asked. Many of these questions have been submitted through to and answered by Dr Simcock, a neurologist and the Neurological Foundation’s Medical Advisor.

  • I suffer from regular migraine headaches. Is there a migraine specific medication available? To date I have been prescribed Voltaren and Vioxx which have limited effect.

    The migraine-specific medications are the triptans: sumatriptan (Imigran) is available on prescription. It comes in 50 and 100mgm tablets and in self-injected syringes of 6mgm. Other preparations are available, but are reasonably expensive, which dissolve in the mouth e.g. rizatriptan (Maxalt).

  • I suffered from head movement in 2001, consulted a neurologist but he was not able to help me. Now I am suffering from the same symptoms. My head rotates physically on its own accord and my neck and shoulders are painful. Can you please tell me what kind of illness I have and what sort of medication I can have to help me sleep. I have tried several medications prescribed by my GP.

    The Neurological Foundation provides general information but we cannot make email diagnoses. The best advice I can give is that you ask your GP if it would be worthwhile to see another neurologist.

  • I understand the effects of severe electric shock may lead to MND like conditions - would it still be degenerative as in disease, or able to be stabilised and managed as the result of an accident, i.e. not fatal?

    The question of the relationship of electric shock to MND is hotly debated - while there have been several anecdotal reports supporting this relationship, it is not accepted by many neurologists as proven. The cases that have been reported have taken the usual steady progression of the disorder of typical MND. On rare occasions, the spinal cord can be damaged in a severe electric shock and in those cases, the condition stabilises, but this can usually be readily differentiated from MND.

  • I've been told I had a TIA, and that I could have a stroke. What is a TIA?

  • Idiopathic Trigeminal Sensory Neuropathy of the 2nd & 3rd branches, involving cheek and lip numbness and parethesias. I've had all the relevent blood tests, CT's and MRI's, including a sinus CT, and no abnormalities have been found by my neurologist. Is it possible that the neuropathy could have some link to the Herpes Simplex One virus? I ask this because I have read about a few other people (like me), that have a history of 3 or 4 minor bouts of cold sores prior, and the latest attack where the lip tingles and gets sore or numb, a cold sore doesn't present but the feeling progresses into a neuropathy of the lower 2 branches, over 2 to 3 months. Any experience with this type of neuropathy?

    Idiopathic Trigeminal sensory neuropathy usually comes on over a few days and then resolves over a matter of months. I am not sure whether your symptoms have followed a similar time-course. Recurrent episodes are unusual but do occur.The second and third divisions of the nerve are usually affected, sparing the first division, in contrast to Herpes zoster (shingles) which affects the first division. There are similarities between Idiopathic trigeminal neuropathy and Bell's Palsy (in which the VII cranial nerve is affected) and both can be caused by herpes simplex virus.