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Oct 29, 2011; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Danny Spond (13) and cornerback Josh Atkinson (43) react to Notre Dame recovering a fumble against the Navy Midshipmen at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame defeated Navy 56-14. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Danny Spond's Hemiplegic Migraines

Many people get migraines daily. They are debilitating when they occur but usually only last for a few hours. Over the counter medications such as Excedrin make duration shorter. Others more rare forms are more debilitating like hemiplegic migraines.

Dr. Jennifer Malcolm, Notre Dame team physician, said, “Hemiplegic migraines are a rare form of headache that present with temporary stroke-like symptoms, such as weakness and slurred speech. Danny has suffered from a series of these migraines, but with medication, rehabilitation and a positive attitude he should avoid any long-term consequences.”

According to WebMD, Hemiplegic migraines can have a wide range of symptoms that include:

  • Severe, throbbing pain, often on one side of your head
  • A pins-and-needles feeling, often moving from your hand up your arm
  • Numbness on one side of your body, which can include your arm, leg, and/or one side of your face
  • Weakness or paralysis on one side of your body
  • Loss of balance and coordination
  • Visual aura, such as seeing zigzag lines, double vision, or blind spots
  • Language difficulties, such as mixing words or trouble remembering a word
  • Slurred speech
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Extreme sensitivity to light, sound, and smell
  • Confusion
  • Decreased consciousness or coma
Although the exact cause is unknown, it is likely that Danny Spond was born with this rare neurological disorder. What has not been discussed in this case has been whether or not Spond’s participation in football caused his two episodes (Fall Camps 2012 and 2013) or if these would have occurred regardless.


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