Background.—Clinical and neurophysiological manifestations of information processing associated with central sensitization are little known. Allodynic migraine (AM) can be caused by the sensitization of trigeminal neuron, but no study has reported on AM between attacks using blink reflex (BR) and pattern-reversal visual evoked potentials (PVEPs).
Objective.—We explored the characteristics of AM between attacks associated with central sensitization using BR and PVEP.
Methods.—We recruited 13 patients with interictal AM and 15 patients with nonallodynic migraine (NA), and 30 healthy subjects (HS). BRs were obtained using paired pulses delivered at the interstimulus interval (ISI) of 150, 300, and 500 ms. The ratio of the area in the R2 of the second to R2 of the first shock was measured for each ISI. PVEP were recorded with 2 spatial frequencies (0.5 and 4.0 cpd) and 2 low and high contrasts (29% and 98%, respectively). Amplitudes of P100 were measured.
Results.—For BR, there were no significant differences in the ratio of the area of the R2 between the sides of stimulation, and the sides of headache. AM patients had less suppression of the R2 at the ISI of 150 and 300 ms when compared with the NA patients and HS. For PVEP, at 0.5, there were significant differences of amplitude between AM patients and HS, and between NA patients and HS in low and high contrast. At 4.0 cpd, there were significant differences of amplitude between AM patients and HS in low contrast, and between AM patients and HS, and NA patients and HS in high contrast. In AM patients, there was a significant difference of amplitude ratio between 0.5 and 4.0 cpd.
Conclusions.—Our BR and PVEP study showed that migraine patients exhibiting allodynia may show central sensitization of brainstem trigeminal neuron and have contrast modulating dysfunction during the cortical visual processing of striate and extrastriate on visual cortex in-between attacks.