Visual Migraine Aura Phenomenon

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Visual Migraine Aura Phenomenon

  The Dresden Codex vs. Migraine Aura

Dresden Codex compared to Migraine Aura   Mesoamerican Art has a very famous and specific look.  Most people will have an immediate mental image when you mention the Aztecs or the Mayans. The Dresden Codex, or Codex Dresdensis, is one of three indisputable Mayan Codices (books).  It opens accordion-style.  It is from the Yucatan region of the Mayan territory, where Chichén Itzá  is located.  This is a very old book, dating from around 1200 – 1300 AD.  It is believed that this is a copy and the original text was 300 – 400 years older than this copy of the book. If you’ve ever seen Mayan or Aztec art, you know what it looks like.  It’s unforgettable.  But what does this have to do with migraines?  It matters because people with migraine aura often see strange patterns.  Words may become unreadable to them.  They may have minor hallucinations that look similar to Mayan or Aztec art.  This comparison between Mesoamerican Art and Migraines with Aura help non-migraine sufferers understand what a migraine looks like in these specific occurrences.

Visual Aura Phenomenon from Migraines

A genre of YouTube videos exist in which aura sufferers try to show what it looks like to have a migraine aura .  Each interpretation is different, but also similar.  I can relate to every one of these videos as well as a few pages of Dresden Codex! What do you see when your migraine aura begins?  

Video Examples of Migraines with Aura

Please be careful, some of these videos have flashing lights, so if you are susceptible to migraine or seizure upon viewing such motion, you should consider not viewing them. 1.  This attempt to capture what a migraine looks like is unpleasant to watch if you’re a sufferer of this condition.  It’s too flashy!   I don’t recommend watching more than a few seconds of it, but it is interesting.  It doesn’t look like what I literally see during an aura, but it does look like how a migraine feels. 2.  This is an easy-to-watch video that shows a migraine aura spoiling a lovely afternoon. 3.  This is a hybrid video.  It combines a scientific demonstration with Visual Migraine Aura effects.  This was a specific migraine recorded by experimental psychologist Karl Lashley in 1941.  He documented everything that occurred during his migraine. 4.  A little animation on what the aura looks like. 5.  Mayo Clinic’s demonstration of what it’s like to have Visual Aura. 6.  What a Migraine Headache Looks Like  – I think this one induces migraines instead of describing them.  You may only want to watch a few seconds of this. 7.  A clip of what Aura looks like at the office. 8.  Migraine Aura While Driving 9.  Aura while Camping 10.  Looking across a city plaza as a migraine begins – Watch it Here. 11.  A different interpretation of how irritating Aura can be.  Watch it Here.   By Virginia   Save Save Save


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3 thoughts on “Visual Migraine Aura Phenomenon

  1. Star says:

    My migraines are so bad, just the little picture in the corner bothered me…
    That’s crazy, right???
    People raved about the new adult coloring books and how they’re relieving their stress and helping with migraines…
    I can’t stand to go near even a CHILDREN’S coloring book…
    The colors bother my eyes so bad it hurts…
    I dread when my 4 yr.old wants to watch cartoons… It’s pure torture…
    I usually sit with my eyes closed or pull out my computer, the lesser or 2 evils…
    I know it sounds crazy, but it’s the truth…
    These glasses sound like a life saver… Especially when ANY light is a trigger for me and I work in a bowling alley… Yes, I know… WORST place in THE world for a migraine sufferer, but you take what you can get… So for now, this is where I am…

  2. Scott says:

    If you think the Dresden Codex artwork resembles migraine aura—-then what you really need to be looking at is late 19th century Apache beadwork. Not sure if this will accept hyperlinks or not——-if this doesn’t work, do a search for “Apache Strike A Light Bag” (these were beaded bags used to carry fire-making flints and tinder in). What you’ll see are zig-zag designs and purposeful use of color which look virtually identical to migraine visual auras, something I suspect is far too close for coincidence. (As well as a resemblance to imagery in the Dresden Codex, only MORE so—-but keep in mind Native culture from central Mexico was interconnected through ancient trade and cultural exchanges for centuries with the modern day US Southwest). What I suspect is that the Apache work was inspired by hallucinatory/visionary experiences associated with the ancient Peyote cults which were commonly practiced in the North American southwest and southern Plains—-and undoubtedly closely connected to ancient northern and central Mexican ritual practices as well. Anyway, my speculation is that if this is true, the electrical depolarization of the brain starting in the occipital lobe and moving forward to the frontal lobes which happens in migraine aura MAY be similar to electrical or neurotransmitter chemical disruptions (such as serotoinin) that take place in the brain when mescaline alkaloids in peyote cactus are ingested. (This is NOT an endorsement for hallucinogenic drug use any more than a recommendation to induce migraines, trust me!) Anyway, as a restorer of Native beadwork and a Native American Arts museum guide, as well as a sufferer of migraine with aura…..if the Dresden Codex looks like aura visuals, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet until you start delving into old Apache beaded artifacts!

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