Is allodynia influenced by psychological profile in headache patients?

Carlo Lovati, D. D'Amico, P. Bertora, E. Morandi, C. Mariani, G. Bussone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cutaneous allodynia is a frequent complain in headache patients, particularly in those with migraine. A stronger association is present in patients with migraine with aura and with chronic or transformed migraine. The aim of the present study was to investigate if the psychological profile may be related to the presence/absence of allodynia in a sample of headache patients. The psychological profile of patients was assessed by the SCL90R; the presence of allodynia was assessed by a set of semi-structured questions used in previous studies. For the purpose of the study, patients were divided into subgroups according to the headache type (ICDH-II diagnoses), as well as to the temporal pattern (episodic or chronic). A total of 213 consecutive headache patients were studied. Most patients had episodic migraine (116); 37 had tension-type headache. Overall, 156 patients had episodic headache forms, and 57 had chronic forms. As far as allodynia, 93 were non-allodynic; 120 presented allodynic symptoms during their headaches. No significant difference was found between allodynic and non-allodynic patients neither if studied in a whole group (t test, P = 0.10 NS) nor when patients were evaluated comparing different subgroups on the basis of headache type, and of the episodic/chronic pattern. Our results suggest that the presence/absence of allodynia may not be influenced by the psychological profile.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeurological Sciences
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Allodynia
  • Migraine
  • Psychological profile
  • SCL90

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Dermatology


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