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Eur J Pain. 2014 Oct;18(9):1298-306. doi: 10.1002/j.1532-2149.2014.490.x. Epub 2014 Mar 25.

Electrodermal responses and memory recall in migraineurs and headache-free controls.

Author information

1
Unit for the Study and Treatment of Pain - ALGOS, Research Center for Behavior Assessment (CRAMC), Department of Psychology and Institut d'Investigació Sanitària Pere Virgili, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Catalonia, Spain.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Chronic pain patients show increased peripheral activity when exposed to stimuli relevant to their pain problem. It has been suggested that in migraine there is a highly specific conditioning or sensitization to pain stimuli. The aims of this study were to analyse whether migraineurs (1) are sensitive not only to pain-related but also to other negative emotional words; and (2) show a memory bias for pain words, when compared to headache-free controls.

METHODS:

Sixty-six adults participated in the study ( X ̅ = 27 years; SD = 7). They observed 30 words (pain or negative emotional or neutral) in a pseudo-randomized order. Subsequently, participants were asked to recall the words presented during the trial.

RESULTS:

Skin conductance responses (SCRs) induced by pain descriptors and emotional words were very similar to each other and significantly larger than those induced by neutral words; however, there were no differences between both groups in SCRs. Significant differences in immediate memory recall were found between the two groups: migraineurs recalled more emotional words than controls.

CONCLUSIONS:

The findings suggest that in migraine, not only pain-related but also negative emotional words may act as triggers. These outcomes may have therapeutic implications as interventions could target problematic pain-related memories that influence migraine pain perception and pain-related physiological responses.

PMID:
24664629
DOI:
10.1002/j.1532-2149.2014.490.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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