Visual input drives increased occipital responsiveness and harmonized oscillations in multiple cortical areas in migraineurs.


Department of Systems Neuroscience, University Medical Center Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany. Electronic address: [Email]


Migraineurs are hypersensitive for most sensory domains like visual, auditory or somatosensory processing even outside of attacks. This behavioral peculiarity is mirrored by findings of cortical hyper-responsivity already in the interictal state. Using repetitive visual stimulation to elicit steady state visually evoked potentials (SSVEP) in 30 interictal episodic migraineurs and 30 controls we show hyper-responsivity of the visual cortex in the migraineurs. Additionally, the occipital regions were remarkably stronger coupled to the temporal, premotor and the anterior cingulate cortex than in headache free controls. These data suggest harmonized oscillations of different cortical areas as a response to visual input which might be driven by the cuneus. Furthermore, the increased coupling is modulated by the current state of the migraine cycle as the coupling was significantly stronger in patients with longer interictal periods.


Electroencephalography,Functional coupling,Nociception,Source localization,Time-frequency analysis,Trigeminal nervous system,