Effects of Fluoxetine on Habituation of Pattern Reversal Visually Evoked Potentials in Migraine Prophylaxis


Address all correspondence to Dr. Yasar Ozkul, Harran Universitesi, Arastirma Hastanesi, Nöroloji Klinigi, 63100, Sanliurfa, Turkey.


Objective.—To investigate the effects of fluoxetine in migraine prophylaxis on habituation of visually evoked potentials.

Background.—Habituation of pattern reversal visually evoked potentials was found to be abnormal in migraine between attack, and this abnormality was most likely due to serotonergic pathway dysfunction in the brain stem.

Methods.—One hundred nineteen subjects were included in the study: 40 healthy volunteers and 79 migraineurs not taking any prophylactic migraine medication (44 without aura and 35 with aura). Visually evoked potentials in migraineurs were recorded in the headache-free interval. Amplitude change of the visually evoked potentials (N1-P1) was measured between the first and fifth block of 50 sequential averagings during continuous stimulation at 3.1 Hz. All migraineurs were placed on fluoxetine 20 mg/day for prophylaxis of migraine. One month later, visually evoked potentials were recorded again.

Results.—Mean amplitude changes in the fifth block expressed as percentages of the first block were −13.4% ± 19.2% in healthy volunteers, 9.8% ± 23.3% in migraine without aura, and 4.4% ± 8.7% in migraine with aura during the baseline period. The difference was significant between migraineurs and healthy volunteers (both P = 0.0001), but not between migraineur groups. After treatment, amplitude changes were −9.3% ± 14.5% in migraine without aura and −10.1% ± 11.5% in migraine with aura. Habituation pattern tended to normalize with prophylactic treatment, and mean amplitude changes were not significant between migraineurs and healthy volunteers (both P = 0.4).

Conclusions.—We concluded that the fluoxetine prophylaxis corrects the interictal deficit of habituation in migraineurs.