Multichannel visual evoked potentials in migraine

Michele Tagliati, Maurizio Sabbadini, Giorgio Bernardi, Mauro Silvestrini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multichannel recordings of visual evoked potentials (VEPs) have proved to be useful in the evaluation of visual field defects. We studied the topographic distribution of transient VEPs in 15 migraine patients (8 with visual aura and 7 without) and 15 age-matched controls during the migraine-free interval. All the subjects included in the study had normal visual fields. VEPs were recorded from 9 electrodes placed on the posterior scalp. Stimuli were full-field and hemifield reversing square wave grating patterns of medium spatial frequency (4 c/deg). The groups did not show significant differences in latencies and amplitudes of the major components (N70, P100) recorded from the midline. However, migraine patients with visual hemianopic aura showed definite asymmetries in the VEP amplitude distribution. Significantly reduced, absent or polarity-invered VEP responses were recorded ipsilateral to the side of the prodromic visual symptoms. Direct comparison of affected and unaffected hemispheres by partial field stimulation confirmed these findings. According to the VEP cortical generator theory, these abnormalities suggest a functional anomaly consistent with the clinical syndrome and detectable also in the migraine-free interval. None of the migraine patients without aura or the controls showed VEP amplitude asymmetries. We conclude that multichannel VEP recordings may discriminate between different subtypes of migraine and contribute important physiopathological information to the study of this disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalElectroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology - Evoked Potentials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • Migraine
  • Visual aura
  • Visual evoked potentials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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