Article

Different levels of cortical excitability reflect clinical fluctuations in migraine

Department of Neurosciences, Catholic University, Italy.
Cephalalgia (Impact Factor: 4.12). 04/2013; 33(12). DOI: 10.1177/0333102413482199
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: In a previous study we demonstrated that high-frequency oscillations (HFOs) elicited by median nerve stimulation are significantly correlated to clinical fluctuations of migraine. We aimed at verifying whether clinical fluctuations and HFO changes are correlated to N20 somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) recovery cycle, which is likely to reflect the functional refractoriness of primary somatosensory cortex neurons. METHODS: We analysed both HFOs and N20 SEP recovery cycle to paired stimulation in 21 migraine patients and 18 healthy volunteers. RESULTS: Shortened recovery cycle correlated with low-amplitude HFOs as well as with clinical worsening. By contrast, prolonged recovery cycle correlated with enhanced HFOs, as well as with spontaneous clinical improvement. CONCLUSIONS: In our migraine patients the strict relationship between presynaptic HFO amplitude and N20 recovery function suggests that changes of both parameters might be caused by modifications of the thalamo-cortical drive. Our findings suggest that the thalamo-cortical drive during interictal stages could fluctuate from abnormally high to abnormally low levels, depending on mechanisms which reduce cortical excitability in spontaneously improving patients, and increase cortical excitability in spontaneously worsening ones.

0 Followers
 · 
55 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Migraine is a cyclic disorder, in which functional and morphological brain changes fluctuate over time, culminating periodically in an attack. In the migrainous brain, temporal processing of external stimuli and sequential recruitment of neuronal networks are often dysfunctional. These changes reflect complex CNS dysfunction patterns. Assessment of multimodal evoked potentials and nociceptive reflex responses can reveal altered patterns of the brain's electrophysiological activity, thereby aiding our understanding of the pathophysiology of migraine. In this Review, we summarize the most important findings on temporal processing of evoked and reflex responses in migraine. Considering these data, we propose that thalamocortical dysrhythmia may be responsible for the altered synchronicity in migraine. To test this hypothesis in future research, electrophysiological recordings should be combined with neuroimaging studies so that the temporal patterns of sensory processing in patients with migraine can be correlated with the accompanying anatomical and functional changes.
    Nature Reviews Neurology 02/2014; DOI:10.1038/nrneurol.2014.14 · 14.10 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Migraine symptoms often include auditory discomfort. Nitroglycerin (NTG)-triggered central sensitization (CS) provides a rodent model of migraine, but auditory brainstem pathways have not yet been studied in this example. Our objective was to examine brainstem auditory evoked potentials (BAEPs) in rat CS as a measure of possible auditory abnormalities. We used four subdermal electrodes to record horizontal (h) and vertical (v) dipole channel BAEPs before and after injection of NTG or saline. We measured the peak latencies (PLs), interpeak latencies (IPLs), and amplitudes for detectable waveforms evoked by 8, 16, or 32 KHz auditory stimulation. At 8 KHz stimulation, vertical channel positive PLs of waves 4, 5, and 6 (vP4, vP5, and vP6), and related IPLs from earlier negative or positive peaks (vN1-vP4, vN1-vP5, vN1-vP6; vP3-vP4, vP3-vP6) increased significantly 2 hours after NTG injection compared to the saline group. However, BAEP peak amplitudes at all frequencies, PLs and IPLs from the horizontal channel at all frequencies, and the vertical channel stimulated at 16 and 32 KHz showed no significant/consistent change. For the first time in the rat CS model, we show that BAEP PLs and IPLs ranging from putative bilateral medial superior olivary nuclei (P4) to the more rostral structures such as the medial geniculate body (P6) were prolonged 2 hours after NTG administration. These BAEP alterations could reflect changes in neurotransmitters and/or hypoperfusion in the midbrain. The similarity of our results with previous human studies further validates the rodent CS model for future migraine research.
    Brain research 05/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.brainres.2014.03.033 · 2.83 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Habituation deficit, suggesting a deregulation of cortical excitability, represents a typical hallmark of interictal stages of migraine. We previously demonstrated that several neurophysiological markers of altered cortical excitability are significantly correlated to spontaneous clinical fluctuations of migraine. We therefore aimed at verifying whether clinical fluctuations are correlated to specific patterns of somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) habituation. We analyzed habituation after median nerve stimulation of both high-frequency oscillations (HFOs) and N20 SEP in 25 migraine patients and 18 healthy volunteers. Subjects underwent six consecutive series of 500 stimuli. Migraine patients as a whole showed a significant habituation deficit of the N20 response. Moreover, spontaneously worsening patients show a clear potentiation of this wave in the last block of stimuli, whereas in spontaneously improving patients the N20 amplitude remained stable. Presynaptic HFOs were smaller in worsening patients and larger in improving ones, but they did not undergo habituation in patients as well as in healthy subjects. Potentiation of the N20 response in spontaneously worsening migraineurs confirms that the reduction of the thalamocortical drive plays a major role in migraine pathogenesis. Moreover, the stable pattern we observed in spontaneously improving patients suggests that compensatory mechanisms can also play an important role. The normal response to repeated stimuli of HFOs in migraineurs might indicate that, although its initial amount depends on clinical conditions, high-frequency thalamocortical drive remains stable during the stimulation and probably reflects the activity of a buffer mechanism.
    Cephalalgia 10/2013; 34(3). DOI:10.1177/0333102413508241 · 4.12 Impact Factor