Coppola G, Di Clemente L, Fumal A, Magis D, De Pasqua V, Pierelli F & Schoenen J. Inhibition of the nociceptive R2 blink reflex after supraorbital or index finger stimulation is normal in migraine without aura between attacks. Cephalalgia 2007; 27:803–808. London. ISSN 0333-1024
In order to explore possible interictal brainstem dysfunctions in migraine, we have studied the R2 component of the nociceptive specific blink reflex (nBR) after conditioning by supraorbital or index finger stimuli in 14 untreated migraine without aura patients (MO) between attacks and in 15 healthy volunteers. We determined the R2 recovery curve at increasing inter-stimulus intervals between 50 and 600 ms. The nBR was conditioned by a paired supraorbital stimulus and, in another session, by an ipsilateral electrical shock delivered to the index finger. The R2 nBR recovery curves were normal in MO patients for both the supraorbital and peripheral conditioning. These results do not favour persistent interictal sensitization in the spinal trigeminal sensory system. They also suggest that the control exerted by descending brainstem pathways on medullary R2 interneurones is normal in migraine between attacks.