Superficial Siderosis Symptom Glossary

It’s been challenging to research the exact cause of Superficial Siderosis associated headache. Everyone has experience with headache pain: tension, stress, dehydration or eye strain. Take a couple of ibuprofen or acetaminophen and go on about your business.

The headaches linked to Superficial Siderosis can cause excruciating pain. Dr. Levy has hypothesized there is a connection between the onset of a headache and when you are experiencing an active bleed. Fresh blood infiltrates your central nervous system, irritating surface linings and causes inflammation. Your pain and stiffness in your neck area is the body’s response to the swelling.

The following is the closest explanation we could find for a migraine caused by leaking blood. Hopefully, this is a close estimation of what is happening:

“….The stimulation of the trigeminal nerve causes blood vessels in the coverings of the brain to dilate, and this allows white blood cells to leak into the surrounding space. If you obtain some spinal fluid and look at it under the microscope, you may see white blood cells, which means that you see a little pus in the spinal fluid, just as if you had an infected wound. So, migraine produces inflammation in the coverings of the brain, just like poison ivy produces a rash on the skin or a sinus infection produces inflammatory changes in the nose. This event is called “sterile inflammation”; the sterile part refers to the fact that the meninges are inflamed simply from the continued stimulation of the nerve…” -Dr. Charles Matthews, Neurologist,  Director of the North Carolina Comprehensive Headache Clinic


Updated: December 15, 2017

Sources: Superficial siderosis is a rare neurologic disease characterized by progressive sensorineural hearing loss, cerebellar ataxia, pyramidal signs, and neuroimaging findings revealing hemosiderin deposits in the spinal and cranial leptomeninges and subpial layer. The disease progresses slowly, and patients may present with mild cognitive impairment, nystagmus, dysmetria, spasticity, dysdiadochokinesia, dysarthria, hyperreflexia, and Babinski signs. Additional features reported include dementia, urinary incontinence, anosmia, ageusia, and anisocoria. Superficial siderosis MedGen UID: 831707 •Concept ID: CN226971 •Finding Orphanet: ORPHA247245
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