Correlation between abnormal brain excitability and emotional symptomatology in paediatric migraine


Massimiliano Valeriani, Divisione di Neurologia, Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù, Piazza Sant'Onofrio 4, 00165 Rome, Italy. Tel. + 39 06-6859-2289, fax + 39 06-6859-2463, e-mail


We investigated a possible correlation between brain excitability in children with migraine and tension-type headache (TTH) and their behavioural symptomatology, assessed by using the Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL). The mismatch negativity (MMN) and P300 response were recorded in three successive blocks to test the amplitude reduction of each response from the first to the third block (habituation). MMN and P300 habituation was significantly lower in migraineurs and TTH children than in control subjects (two-way anova: P < 0.05). In migraineurs, but not in TTH patients, significant positive correlations between the P300 habituation deficit and the CBCL scores were found (P < 0.05), meaning that the migraineurs with the most reduced habituation showed also the worst behavioural symptomatology. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study showing a correlation between neurophysiological abnormality and emotional symptomatology in migraine, suggesting a role of the latter in producing the migrainous phenotype.