Episodic and chronic migraineurs are hypersensitive to thermal stimuli between migraine attacks

Todd J. Schwedt, Melissa J. Krauss, Karen Frey, Robert W. Gereau IV

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

65 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To determine if migraineurs have evidence of interictal cutaneous sensitisation. Subjects and methods: Thermal and mechanical pain thresholds in 20 episodic migraineurs, 20 chronic migraineurs, and 20 non-migraine control subjects were compared. Quantitative sensory testing was conducted when subjects had been migraine-free for at least 48 h. Heat, cold and mechanical pain thresholds, and heat and cold pain tolerance thresholds were measured. Results: Thermal pain thresholds and thermal pain tolerance thresholds differed significantly by headache group (P = 0.001). During the interictal period, episodic and chronic migraineurs were more sensitive to thermal stimulation than non-migraine controls. Conclusions: Interictal sensitisation may predispose the migraineur to development of headaches, may be a marker of migraine activity, and a target for treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-12
Number of pages7
JournalCephalalgia
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2011

Keywords

  • central sensitisation
  • cutaneous allodynia
  • migraine
  • pain thresholds
  • quantitative sensory testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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