Objective.— There are reports proposing that migraine and tension-type headache (TTH) may affect the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Abnormalities in both sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system have been suggested in migraineurs. However, in TTH, reports on the ANS function are limited and only associated with sympathetic system. Techniques for evaluating parasympathetic activity are more limited when compared with sympathetic function. Hence, the aim of the study was to measure heart rate recovery (HRR), an index of vagal activity, in migraine, TTH, and control subjects.
Methods.— Forty-seven episodic migraine, 10 episodic TTH, 11 chronic TTH, and 25 control subjects underwent exercise tolerance test according to modified Bruce protocol, and HRR at 1 minute and 3 minutes (HRR1 and HRR3) were calculated.
Results.— The HRR 1 and 3 were found to be similar in 3 groups of subjects. However, resting heart rate of migraine and chronic TTH were found to be higher than episodic TTH, but not different from the control group.
Consclusion.— These results suggest that parasympathetic function has not been affected in migraine and TTH patients. However, sympathetic tonus, which is evaluated by resting heart rate, is higher in migraine and chronic TTH than in episodic TTH.