Lack of effects of low frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on alpha rhythm phase synchronization in migraine patients.
ABSTRACT The study aimed to test the modulation induced by 1 Hz repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) of the occipital cortex on the alpha phase synchronization under repetitive flash stimuli in 15 migraine without aura patients compared to 10 controls. The EEG was recorded by 7 channels, while flash stimuli were delivered at 9, 18, 21 and 24 Hz in basal, rTMS (15 min of 1 Hz stimulation of the occipital cortex) and sham conditions. Migraine patients displayed increased alpha-band phase synchronization under visual stimulation, while an overall desynchronizing effect was evident in controls. The rTMS resulted in a slight increase of synchronization index in migraine patients, which did not cause significant differences in respect to the basal and sham conditions. The synchronizing-desynchronizing changes of alpha rhythm under repetitive flash stimulation, seem independent from the state of occipital cortex excitability. Other mechanisms beyond cortical excitability may contribute to explain migraine pathogenesis.