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Photophobia in migraine: a symptom cluster?

Wilkins, Arnold and Haigh, Sarah M and Mahroo, Omar and Plant, Gordon (2021) 'Photophobia in migraine: a symptom cluster?' Cephalalgia, 41 (11-12). pp. 1240-1248. ISSN 0333-1024

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Photophobia is one of the most common symptoms in migraine, and the underlying mechanism is uncertain. The discovery of the intrinsically-photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) which signal the intensity of light on the retina has led to discussion of their role in the pathogenesis of photophobia. In the current review, we discuss the relationship between pain and discomfort leading to light aversion (traditional photophobia) and discomfort from flicker, patterns, and colour that are also common in migraine and cannot be explained solely by ipRGC activity. We argue that, at least in migraine, a cortical mechanism provides a parsimonious explanation for discomfort from all forms of visual stimulation, and that the traditional definition of photophobia as pain in response to light may be too restrictive. Future investigation that directly compares the retinal and cortical contributions to photophobia in migraine with that in other conditions may offer better specificity in identifying biomarkers and possible mechanisms to target for treatment.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: photophobia, migraine, pattern glare, flicker, colour contrast
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2021 10:33
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:23

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