Last summer, Julie Mathias collapsed suddenly, paralysed down the right side of her body. She was suffering a severe form of a condition called a hemiplegic migraine. It is not fully understood, but the paralysis is caused by a communication failure between the nerves.
sufferers – it affects between 8,000 and 10,000 Britons – these
terrifying episodes often last for hours or days. But Julie, 47, did not
recover. She was left
barely able to walk without a stick, her speech was slurred and she had
to give up working at her hair salon. Her neurologist prescribed an
anticonvulsant drug called Topiramate, yet the symptoms remained.