Electrophysiological evidence for trigeminal neuron sensitization in patients with migraine

Giorgio Sandrini, Alberto Proietti Cecchini, Ivan Milanov, Cristina Tassorelli, Maria Gabriella Buzzi, Giuseppe Nappi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The electrically elicited corneal reflex is a useful tool for exploring the trigeminal system in humans and it may provide additional evidence pointing to a dysfunction of this system in migrainous patients. Tactile perception, corneal reflex and pain thresholds were studied in 48 migraine without aura patients during pain-free periods and compared with those observed in 24 controls. Twenty-eight of the patients had strictly unilateral headache, while the other 20 had bilateral or side-shifting pain during attacks. Both migraine subgroups (bilateral and unilateral) showed significantly lower thresholds compared with controls. The lowest values were observed on the symptomatic side of unilateral migraine patients. These findings suggest that sensorimotor mechanisms and/or pain control systems at the trigeminal level are impaired in migraine. The bilateral location of these abnormalities seems to point to a centrally located dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-138
Number of pages4
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 14 2002


  • Blink reflex
  • Corneal reflex
  • Migraine
  • Pain perception
  • Tactile perception
  • Trigeminal pain pathway

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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