Evidence of persistent central sensitization in chronic headaches: a multi-method study.

Sechenov Moscow Medical Academy, Moscow, Russia.
The Journal of Headache and Pain (Impact Factor: 3.28). 11/2008; 9(5):295-300. DOI: 10.1007/s10194-008-0061-7
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to investigate central sensitization (CS) in chronic headaches and compare this phenomenon between chronic migraine (CM) and chronic tension-type headache (CTTH). We recruited 69 patients with chronic headaches and 18 control subjects. Questionnaires of headache history, allodynia and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale were administered. We recorded thresholds for pinprick and pressure pain, blink (BR) and nociceptive flexion reflex (NFR) R3 component coupled with wind-up ratios. Thresholds for pressure and pinprick pain, BR and NFR R3 were lower and wind-up ratios higher in patients. No differences of CS parameters between CM and CTTH were observed. CS is persistent and prevalent in patients with various types of chronic headache. CS levels are unrelated to the predominant side of pain, disease duration or depression. Neither is CS related to the headache type, suggesting similar mechanisms of headache chronification and chronicity maintaining and possibly explaining clinical similarity of various forms of chronic headache.

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    ABSTRACT: Cephalic allodynia (CA) can be observed in 50-70% of patients with chronic migraine (CM). The aim of this trial was to assess the efficacy of botulinum toxin type A (Botx-A) in the treatment of CA associated with CM. In this placebo-controlled trial, patients were randomized either into Botx-A or 0.9% saline injections and efficacy measures were assessed every 4 weeks for 3 months. Efficacy endpoints were number of migraine episodes associated with CA, changes from baseline in visual analogical scale scores for pain (VAS) and frequency of common analgesics use for migraine. A total of 38 subjects were randomized to saline (n=18) or Botx-A (n=20). There were no significant differences in baseline between active intervention or placebo groups regarding mean age, number of headache episodes [mean 12.1 (9.22) and 17.00 (9.69) respectively; P=0.12], pain severity as measured by the VAS or frequency of analgesic use for headache episodes. Efficacy analysis showed that Botx-A injections led to an important decrease from baseline in the mean migraine episodes associated with CA after 12 weeks (5.20 versus 11.17; P=0.01). Also, VAS scores and frequency of analgesics use for headache were significantly reduced in the Botx-A group. This study suggests that Botx-A injections are superior to saline in the treatment of CA associated with CM, with mild self limited side effects.
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    ABSTRACT: Background Medication overuse headache (MOH) affects between 1% and 2% of the general population but is present in up to 50% of patients seen in headache centers. There are currently no internationally accepted guidelines for treatment of MOH.MethodsA review of the current literature on MOH treatment and pathophysiology.ResultsWe conclude that headache frequency can be reduced to episodic headache in more than 50% of the patients by simple detoxification and information. Approximately half the patients will not have need for prophylactic medication after withdrawal. Pain perception is altered in patients with MOH but can be restored to a baseline pattern, indicating a reversible mechanism in the central sensitization leading to chronic pain. The great comorbidity with depression and anxiety could be a consequence of the altered serotonin metabolism indicating a reversible and potentially treatable condition.Conclusion Increased focus on MOH is extremely important, as MOH both can and should be treated and prevented. MOH is thus a diagnosis that should be considered in all chronic headache patients as the very first step in their management strategy. In the general population, prevention campaigns against MOH are essential to minimize chronic pain disability.
    Headache The Journal of Head and Face Pain 08/2014; · 2.94 Impact Factor


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