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Cortical hyperexcitability in migraine and aversion to patterns

Haigh, SM and Karanovic, O and Wilkinson, F and Wilkins, AJ (2012) 'Cortical hyperexcitability in migraine and aversion to patterns.' Cephalalgia, 32 (3). 236 - 240. ISSN 0333-1024

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Background: Patients with migraine are averse to certain visual stimuli, such as flicker and striped patterns that evoke paroxysmal EEG activity in patients with photosensitive epilepsy. Migraineurs demonstrate a hyper-responsiveness to such stimuli, and there is debate as to whether the aversion and hyper-responsiveness are due to a hyperexcitability of the cortex similar to that in patients with photosensitive epilepsy. In these patients grating patterns with certain spatial characteristics can be epileptogenic, depending critically on their movement. If the contours of the grating drift continually, the grating is not epileptogenic, but if the contours are static or if their direction is repeatedly and rapidly reversed so as to vibrate, the grating then becomes highly epileptogenic.Methods: We compared aversion to vibrating, drifting and static gratings in migraineurs and controls. The contrast of each grating was gradually increased, but only until the participant felt discomfort, so as to obtain a contrast threshold for aversion with minimal exposure.Results: Migraineurs had lower thresholds than the control group, indicating greater aversion. For both groups the threshold was higher (aversion was lower) for static than for both types of moving gratings. The drifting gratings were more aversive than the vibrating gratings when both groups were combined.Conclusion: The findings suggest that the aversion shown by migraineurs is not attributable to a cortical hyperexcitability similar to that in photosensitive epilepsy. © International Headache Society 2012.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Clare Chatfield
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2012 10:24
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2019 16:17

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