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J Neurol Sci. 2015 Feb 15;349(1-2):33-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2014.12.018. Epub 2014 Dec 18.

Transcranial direct current stimulation in the prophylactic treatment of migraine based on interictal visual cortex excitability abnormalities: A pilot randomized controlled trial.

Author information

1
Applied Neuroscience Laboratory, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil. Electronic address: srocha3105@gmail.com.
2
Applied Neuroscience Laboratory, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil. Electronic address: lorenafdemelo@gmail.com.
3
Applied Neuroscience Laboratory, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil. Electronic address: millabsales@gmail.com.
4
Applied Neuroscience Laboratory, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil. Electronic address: foerster.as@gmail.com.
5
Department of Physical Therapy, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil. Electronic address: sabino_daniella@ig.com.br.
6
Applied Neuroscience Laboratory, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil. Electronic address: monte.silvakk@gmail.com.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The aims of this paper are (i) to compare the excitability of visual cortex in migraine patients with healthy volunteers; and (ii) if an abnormal excitability has been found, to modulate cortical excitability in migraine patients with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and observe their clinical and neurophysiological effects.

METHODS:

The study was divided into two steps. A cross-sectional study (step 1) was conducted to compare the cortical excitability of 23 migraineurs (11 with and 12 without aura) on 11 healthy individuals. On step 2, a randomized, double blinded, controlled pilot trial was carried on with 19 migraineurs, randomly divided into: experimental and control group. During 12 sessions, experimental and group received active tDCS to visual cortex and control group received sham tDCS. The headache diary was applied for a total of 90days (before, during and after tDCS sessions). Phosphene threshold (PT) induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation was recorded to measure the excitability of the visual cortex before and after each session.

RESULTS:

Step 1 showed higher level of cortical excitability between migraineurs when compared to healthy volunteers; therefore, cathodal tDCS was applied over visual cortex in step 2. After tDCS application, a significant decrease was observed in a number of migraine attacks, painkiller intake and duration of each attack just in experimental group. The analysis of PT indicated no difference in cortical excitability after tDCS.

CONCLUSIONS:

Findings of the study suggested that inhibitory tDCS on visual cortex might be an alternative and non-pharmacological treatment for migraine prophylaxis. However the clinical improvements of patients after tDCS treatment are not correlated with changes in cortical excitability.

KEYWORDS:

Migraine; Prophylaxis; Transcranial direct current stimulation; Transcranial magnetic stimulation; Treatment; Visual cortex

PMID:
25579414
DOI:
10.1016/j.jns.2014.12.018
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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