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See detailNitroglycerin sensitises in healthy subjects CNS structures involved in migraine pathophysiology: evidence from a study of nociceptive blink reflexes and visual evoked potentials.
Di Clemente, Laura; Coppola, Gianluca; Magis, Delphine ULg et al

in Pain (2009), 144(1-2), 156-61

Nitroglycerin (NTG), a NO donor, induces an attack in migraine patients approximately 4-6 h after administration. The causative mechanisms are not known, but the long delay leaves room for a central ... [more ▼]

Nitroglycerin (NTG), a NO donor, induces an attack in migraine patients approximately 4-6 h after administration. The causative mechanisms are not known, but the long delay leaves room for a central effect, such as a change in neuronal excitability and synaptic transmission of various CNS areas involved in pain and behaviour including trigeminal nucleus caudalis and monoaminergic brain stem nuclei. To explore the central action of NTG, we have studied its effects on amplitude and habituation of the nociceptive blink reflex (nBR) and the visual evoked potential (VEP) before, 1 h and 4 h after administration of NTG (1.2 mg sublingual) or placebo (vehicle sublingual) in two groups of 10 healthy volunteers. We found a significant decrease in nBR pain and reflex thresholds both 1 and 4 h post-NTG. At the 4 h time point R2 latency was shorter (p=0.04) and R2 response area increased (p<0.01) after NTG but not after placebo. Habituation tended to become more pronounced after both NTG and placebo administration. There was a significant amplitude increase in the 5th VEP block (p=0.03) at 1h after NTG and in the 1st block (p=0.04) at 4 h. VEP habituation was replaced by potentiation at both delays after NTG; the change in habituation slope was significant at 1h (p=0.02). There were no significant VEP changes in subjects who received sublingual placebo. In conclusion, we found that in healthy subjects sublingual NTG, but not its vehicle, induces changes in a trigeminal nociceptive reflex and an evoked cortical response which are comparable to those found immediately before and during an attack of migraine. These changes could be relevant for the attack-triggering effect of NTG in migraineurs. [less ▲]

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See detailOrbitofrontal cortex involvement in chronic analgesic-overuse headache evolving from episodic migraine
Fumal, Arnaud ULg; Laureys, Steven ULg; Di Clemente, Laura et al

in Brain (2006), 129(Pt 2), 543-550

The way in which medication overuse transforms episodic migraine into chronic daily headache is unknown. To search for candidate brain areas involved in this process, we measured glucose metabolism with ... [more ▼]

The way in which medication overuse transforms episodic migraine into chronic daily headache is unknown. To search for candidate brain areas involved in this process, we measured glucose metabolism with 18-FDG PET in 16 chronic migraineurs with analgesic overuse before and 3 weeks after medication withdrawal and compared the data with those of a control population (n = 68). Before withdrawal, the bilateral thalamus, orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), anterior cingulate gyrus, insula/ventral striatum and right inferior parietal lobule were hypometabolic, while the cerebellar vermis was hypermetabolic. All dysmetabolic areas recovered to almost normal glucose uptake after withdrawal of analgesics, except the OFC where a further metabolic decrease was found. A subanalysis showed that most of the orbitofrontal hypometabolism was due to eight patients overusing combination analgesics and/or an ergotamine-caffeine preparation. Medication overuse headache is thus associated with reversible metabolic changes in pain processing structures like other chronic pain disorders, but also with persistent orbitofrontal hypofunction. The latter is known to occur in drug dependence and could predispose subgroups of migraineurs to recurrent analgesic overuse. [less ▲]

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See detailEffects of nitroglycerin on the nociception specific blink reflex
Di Clemente, Laura; Magis, Delphine ULg; Coppola, Gianluca et al

in Cephalalgia : An International Journal of Headache (2005, October), 25(10), 888

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See detailThe syndrome of transient headache with neurological deficits and CSF lymphocytosis (HaNDL): electrophysiological findings suggesting a migrainous pathophysiology
Fumal, Arnaud ULg; Vandenheede, Michel; Coppola, Giunluca et al

in Cephalalgia : An International Journal of Headache (2005), 25(9), 754-758

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See detailSomatosensory evoked high-frequency oscillations reflecting thalamo-cortical activity are decreased in migraine patients between attacks
Coppola, Gianluca; Vandenheede, Michel; Di Clemente, Laura et al

in Brain (2005), 128(Pt 1), 98-103

A deficit of habituation in cortical information processing, including somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs), is the most consistent neurophysiological abnormality in migraine patients between attacks ... [more ▼]

A deficit of habituation in cortical information processing, including somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs), is the most consistent neurophysiological abnormality in migraine patients between attacks. To explore further the mechanisms underlying this interictal neural dysfunction, we have studied the high-frequency oscillations (HFOs) embedded in SSEPs because they are thought to reflect spike activity in thalamo-cortical cholinergic fibres (early HFOs) and in cortical inhibitory GABAergic interneurons (late HFOs). Untreated migraine patients with (MA) and without (MO) aura were recorded during (n = 13: nine MO, four MA) and between attacks (n = 29: 14 MO, 15 MA) and compared with healthy volunteers. SSEPs were filtered off-line (digital band-pass between 450 and 750 Hz) to extract the two HFO bursts from the broad-band contralateral N20 somatosensory cortical response obtained by median nerve stimulation. In both migraine groups, amplitudes and latencies of conventional broad-band SSEPs recorded interictally from cervical and parietal active electrodes were not significantly different from those found in healthy volunteers. In contrast, maximum peak-to-peak amplitude and area under the rectified curve of the early HFO burst were significantly smaller in both MA and MO patients than in healthy volunteers. There was no significant difference in the later HFO burst between migraineurs and healthy volunteers. During attacks, all electrophysiological measurements in migraineurs were similar to those found in healthy volunteers. Thalamo-cortical activation, as reflected by the early SSEP HFO burst, may thus be reduced in migraine interictally, but normalizes during an attack, whereas intracortical inhibition, as indexed by the late HFO burst, is normal at any time. This supports the hypothesis that the habituation deficit in migraineurs is due to a reduced pre-activation level of sensory cortices and not to increased cortical excitability or reduced intracortical inhibition. [less ▲]

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See detailNociceptive blink reflex and visual evoked potential habituations are correlated in migraine
Di Clemente, Laura; Coppola, Gianluca; Magis, Delphine ULg et al

in Headache (2005), 45(10, Nov-Dec), 1388-1393

BACKGROUND: Lack of habituation, as reported in migraine patients between attacks for evoked cortical responses, was also recently found for the nociceptive blink reflex (nBR) mediated by brainstem ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Lack of habituation, as reported in migraine patients between attacks for evoked cortical responses, was also recently found for the nociceptive blink reflex (nBR) mediated by brainstem neurons. It is not known if both brain stem and cortical habituation deficits are correlated in the same patient, which would favor a common underlying mechanism. OBJECTIVE: To search for intraindividual correlations between habituation of pattern reversal-visual evoked potentials and that of the nociception-specific blink reflex in migraineurs and in healthy volunteers (HV). METHODS: We recorded 15 HV and 15 migraine without aura patients between attacks. Habituation for visual evoked potentials was measured by comparing the N1-P1 amplitude change (%) between the first and sixth block of 100 sequential averaged responses. Habituation for the nBR was defined as the percentage change of the R2 response area between the 1st and 10th block of five averaged EMG responses, elicited by stimulating the right side every 2 minutes for 32 minutes. We also calculated the slope of N1-P1 amplitude and R2 response area changes from the first to the last response and the correlation with attack frequency. RESULTS: A significant habituation deficit in both cortical and brain stem evoked activity characterized on average the group of migraineurs compared to controls. In migraine patients, but not in HV, we found a significant positive correlation between habituation of pattern reversal-visual evoked potentials and that of the nociception-specific blink reflex both for the degree of habituation between first and last blocks of averagings (r = 0.703; P = .003) and for the habituation slope (r = 0.751; P = .001). Moreover, nBR habituation was positively correlated with attack frequency (r = 0.548; P = .034). CONCLUSION: The positive correlation between visual evoked potential and nBR habituations is consistent with the idea that in migraine the same neurobiological dysfunction might be responsible for the habituation deficit both in cortex and brain stem. As nBR habituation increases with attack frequency, its interictal deficit is unlikely to be due to trigeminal sensitization. [less ▲]

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