Lateral inhibition in the somatosensory cortex during and between migraine without aura attacks

Gianluca Coppola, Martina Bracaglia, Davide Di Lenola, Elisa Iacovelli, Cherubino Di Lorenzo, Mariano Serrao, Maurizio Evangelista, Vincenzo Parisi, Jean Schoenen, Francesco Pierelli

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Abstract

Background We studied lateral inhibition in the somatosensory cortex of migraineurs during and between attacks, and searched for correlations with thalamocortical activity and clinical features. Participants and methods Somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEP) were obtained by electrical stimulation of the right median (M) or ulnar (U) nerves at the wrist or by simultaneous stimulation of both nerves (MU) in 41 migraine without aura patients, 24 between (MO), 17 during attacks, and in 17 healthy volunteers (HVs). We determined the percentage of lateral inhibition of the N20-P25 component by using the formula [(100)-MU/(M + U)∗100]. We also studied high-frequency oscillations (HFOs) reflecting thalamocortical activation. Results In migraine, both lateral inhibition (MO 27.9% vs HVs 40.2%; p = 0.009) and thalamocortical activity (MO 0.5 vs HVs 0.7; p = 0.02) were reduced between attacks, but not during. In MO patients, the percentage of lateral inhibition negatively correlated with days elapsed since the last migraine attack (r = -0.510, p = 0.01), monthly attack duration (r = -0.469, p = 0.02) and severity (r = -0.443, p = 0.03), but positively with thalamocortical activity (r = -0.463, p = 0.02). Conclusions We hypothesize that abnormal migraine cycle-dependent dynamics of connectivity between subcortical and cortical excitation/inhibition networks may contribute to clinical features of MO and recurrence of attacks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)568-578
Number of pages11
JournalCephalalgia
Volume36
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2016

Keywords

  • clinical features
  • evoked potentials
  • lateral inhibition
  • Migraine
  • thalamocortical activity

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    Coppola, G., Bracaglia, M., Di Lenola, D., Iacovelli, E., Di Lorenzo, C., Serrao, M., Evangelista, M., Parisi, V., Schoenen, J., & Pierelli, F. (2016). Lateral inhibition in the somatosensory cortex during and between migraine without aura attacks. Cephalalgia, 36(6), 568-578. https://doi.org/10.1177/0333102415610873