Different SEP recovery cycle in adolescent migraineurs with exploding or imploding pain

Elisa Iacovelli, Samuela Tarantino, Alessandro Capuano, Massimiliano De Luca, Cristiana De Ranieri, Federico Vigevano, Lars Arendt-Nielsen, Massimiliano Valeriani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Our aim was to investigate whether migraine adolescents with pain directed inside (imploding pain - IP) and outside (exploding pain - EP) the head may have different levels of cortical excitability underlying their migraineous syndrome. Ten migraine children referring prevalent EP (mean age 14.5. ±. 1.4 years, 3 girls, 7 boys), 10 patients with IP (mean age 14.1. ±. 2.2 years, 4 girls, 6 boys), and 13 control subjects (mean age 13. ±. 1.8 years, 6 males, 7 females) participated to the study. The recovery cycle of the somatosensory evoked potentials to electrical median nerve stimuli at interstimulus intervals of 5, 20, and 40. ms was measured. Anger expression, anxiety, and somatic concerns were investigated in migraine patients. Overall, SEP recovery cycle was shorter in migraineurs than in healthy controls. The recovery cycle of the frontal N30 SEP component was significantly shorter in IP than in EP patients. While among the EP patients those with faster N30 recovery cycle had higher Trait-Anger score, the opposite was found among the IP patients. Our results suggest that the inhibitory mechanisms within the somatosensory cortex are more impaired in IP than in EP migraine adolescents. The pathophysiological difference between IP and EP migraineurs was strengthened also by the opposite correlations between the brain excitability and the anger expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-86
Number of pages9
JournalNeuroscience Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013


  • Anger
  • Exploding pain
  • Imploding pain
  • Migraine
  • Somatosensory evoked potentials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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