Preventive drugs restore visual evoked habituation and attention in migraineurs

İnce F., Erdogan-Bakar E., Unal-Cevik I.

ACTA NEUROLOGICA BELGICA, vol.117, no.2, pp.523-530, 2017 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 117 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s13760-017-0749-z
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.523-530
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Visual system pathway dysfunction has been postulated in migraineurs. We wanted to investigate if any difference exists interictally in visual attention and visual evoked habituation of frequently attacked migraineurs compared to the healthy control group. The effects of 3-month prophylactic migraine treatment on these parameters were also assessed. The migraineurs at headache-free interval (n = 52) and age, sex-matched healthy controls (n = 35) were compared by habituation response to 10 blocks of repetitive pattern-reversal visual stimuli (each block consisted 100 responses). The amplitude changes of 5th and 10th blocks were further compared with that of block 1 to assess the response of habituation (i.e., decrease) or potentiation (i.e., increase). The level of sustained visual attention was assessed by Cancellation test. Migraineurs were randomized to three different preventive treatments: propranolol 40 mg tid, flunarizine 5 mg bid, or topiramate 50 mg bid. After 3 months of preventive treatment, migraineurs data were compared with their baseline values. The groups did not differ by sex and age. In electrophysiological studies, the habituation ability observed in the healthy group was not observed in migraineurs. However, it was restored 3 months after preventive treatment. In migraineurs, compared to their baseline values, the distorted visual attention parameters also improved after treatment. All drugs were effective. The loss of habituation ability and low visual attention performance in migraineurs can be restored by migraine preventive treatment. This electrophysiological study accompanied by neuropsychological test may aid an objective and quantitative assessment tool for understanding migraine pathophysiology.