Static stabilometry in patients with migraine and tension-type headache during a headache-free period


address: Takao Takeshima, Department of Neurology, Institute of Neurological Sciences, Tottori University Faculty of Medicine, 36-1 Nishimachi, Yonago 683-8504, Japan. Email:


Abstract The vestibulospinal system was evaluated using a stabilometric method in patients with migraine and episodic tension-type headache during headache-free periods. Migraine patients often complain of dizziness or vertigo during headache attacks and some exhibit these symptoms between attacks. Computerized static stabilometry is a reliable and non-invasive technique to evaluate the equilibrium function in various diseases. The subjects consisted of 21 patients with migraine, 12 patients with episodic tension-type headache and, age- and sex-matched controls. We performed two sets of static stabilometric measurements with eyes open (EO) and eyes closed (EC) for 30 s. The averages of two sessions of the following six stabilometric parameters were used for the analysis: locus length (LNG), environmental area (ENV-AREA), rectangle area (REC-AREA), locus length per second, locus length per environ area (L/E), and root mean square area. Romberg quotients (EC/EO) of these six parameters were also analyzed. The mean values of LNG, ENV-AREA and REC-AREA in the EC session in the migraine group were significantly greater than those in the controls (P < 0.05, Mann–Whitney rank sum test). Romberg quotients of all stabilometric parameters except the L/E in the migraine group were significantly greater than in the controls. Patients with episodic tension-type headache did not show any differences in the stabilometric study from the controls. The present findings suggest that patients with migraine show a significant increase of the body sway during the EC session, which indicates an underlying dysfunction in the vestibulospinal system.