Blink reflex in episodic and chronic migraine

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POLAT B., Aysal F., Öztürk M., Mutluay B., Altunkaynak Y., HELVACI YILMAZ N., ...More

Noropsikiyatri Arsivi, vol.55, no.2, pp.146-151, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 55 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.5152/npa.2017.12753
  • Journal Name: Noropsikiyatri Arsivi
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.146-151
  • Keywords: Blink reflex, blink reflex recovery, migraine, chronic migraine, trigeminal system
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Introduction: Activation of the trigeminovascular system and sensitization of brainstem trigeminal nuclei play a significant role in the physiopathology of migraine. Our aim was to investigate blink reflex (BR) and its recovery in episodic and chronic migraine patients. Methods: Twenty-eight chronic migraine patients, thirty-two episodic migraine without aura patients and thirty healthy controls were included in the study. The study was performed using a portable electromyography device with a software specifically prepared for BR. Blink reflex assessments were performed in patients during the pain-free period and in healthy controls using the ‘standard method-double stimulation’ technique in 200 ms, 500 ms, 1000 ms, 2000 ms, and 5000 ms intervals. Results: Blink reflex recovery was significantly increased in both patient groups as compared to the control group in 200 ms interstimulus interval (ISI) on both sides (p<0.005). Moreover, when it was compared to the control group, recovery was also significantly increased in the chronic migraine group in 2000 ms ISI on the right side and in 5000 ms ISI on the left side as well as in 500 and 1000 ms ISIs on the left side in the migraine without aura group (p<0.002, p<0.003). R2 recovery curve was noted to be higher in both patient groups as compared to the control group, although could not be demonstrated statistically in all intervals. A statistically significant increase was observed in the migraine group without auras compared with the controls (p <0,037, p <0,011) in the left side at 500 and 1000 ms ISIs. For all intervals in our study, although the increase in recovery was not statistically significant, it was noted that the R2 recovery curve was higher in the patient groups, with respect to the normals. The increase in R2 recovery noted in both patient groups suggested increased sensitization of the trigeminal structures. Significantly increased recovery in low ISI (200 ms) in the two patient groups as compared to the control group raised the thought that the migraine brain goes through two different excitability periods (ictal and interictal). Conclusion: In conclusion, similar to the previous studies, the findings of this study suggested that there was a reduction in central inhibitory mechanisms during interictal period in migraine patients.