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Neurosci Lett. 2008 Sep 12;442(2):81-5. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2008.06.076. Epub 2008 Jul 3.

Effects of topiramate and levetiracetam vs placebo on habituation of contingent negative variation in migraine patients.

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  • 1Department of Neurological and Psychiatric Sciences, University of Bari, Italy.


Migraine is characterized by reduced habituation of multimodal evoked potentials, which in turn reflects an abnormal pattern of cortical excitability. We assessed the effects of a 2-month treatment with topiramate or levetiracetam vs placebo on contingent negative variation (CNV) habituation and amplitude in a cohort of migraine without aura (MO) patients. Forty-five MO patients were selected from a university-based outpatient clinic and randomly assigned to 100mg topiramate or 1000mg levetiracetam or placebo in a double-blind design. Twenty-four control subjects were also recruited. The initial CNV (iCNV) amplitude and habituation were assessed by Cz/A1-A2 derivation recordings in the basal condition (T0) and after 2 months of treatment (T1). Both topiramate and levetiracetam produced a significant reduction in migraine frequency compared to placebo, they also reversed the abnormal iCNV habituation pattern which characterized the MO patients in the basal condition and which was not present in controls. For migraine patients, the reduced migraine frequency and habituation index following treatment were significantly correlated. A lack of habituation of evoked responses is an interictal endophenotypic marker in migraine, the reversion of which may improve disease outcome. These results suggest a role for neurophysiological methods in the management of migraine.

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