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Subcortical Hyperexcitability in Migraineurs: A High-Frequency Oscillation Study

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 December 2014

Kuan-Lin Lai
Department of Neurology, Taipei Municipal Gandau Hospital Department of Neurology, Neurological Institute, Taipei Veterans General Hospital Department of Neurology, National Yang-Ming University School of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan
Kwong-Kum Liao
Department of Neurology, Neurological Institute, Taipei Veterans General Hospital Department of Neurology, National Yang-Ming University School of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan
Jong-Ling Fuh
Department of Neurology, Neurological Institute, Taipei Veterans General Hospital Department of Neurology, National Yang-Ming University School of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan
Shuu-Jiun Wang*
Department of Neurology, Neurological Institute, Taipei Veterans General Hospital Department of Neurology, National Yang-Ming University School of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan
Department of Neurology, Neurological Institute, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, No. 201, Shih-Pai Road, Section 2, Taipei, Taiwan, 112
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An abnormal central nervous system excitability level was found in patients with migraine. Whether it is hyper- or hypo-excitable is still debated. This study aimed to compare the somatosensory high-frequency oscillations (HFOs), which reflected subcortical excitability (early phase) and intracortical inhibition (late phase), between patients with migraine and control subjects.


HFOs were recorded from C3'-Fz, using a 500-1000 Hz frequency filter after stimulation at right median nerves at the wrists, and divided into early and late phases based on the N20 peak. Fifty-nine untreated patients (n=24 during ictal period; n=35, interictal) and 22 controls finished the study.


In early HFOs, patients both during ictal and interictal periods had higher maximal amplitudes (p =0.039) and area-under-curve (p =0.029) than those of the controls. Regarding the late HFOs, there were no significant differences among these groups.


Our study suggests a hyper-excitable state in the subcortical regions in patients with migraine both during interictal and ictal periods.

Original Article
Copyright © The Canadian Journal of Neurological 2011


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