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Effects of remote cutaneous pain on trigeminal laser-evoked potentials in migraine patients

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The present study aimed to evaluate heat pain thresholds and evoked potentials following CO2 laser thermal stimulation (laser-evoked potentials, LEPs), during remote application of capsaicin, in migraine patients vs. non-migraine healthy controls. Twelve outpatients suffering from migraine without aura were compared with 10 healthy controls. The LEPs were recorded by 6 scalp electrodes, stimulating the dorsum of the right hand and the right supraorbital zone in basal condition, during the application of 3% capsaicin on the dorsum of the left hand and after capsaicin removal. In normal subjects, the laser pain and the N2-P2 vertex complex obtained by the hand and face stimulation were significantly reduced during remote capsaicin application, with respect to pre-and post-capsaicin conditions, while in migraine LEPs and laser pain were not significantly modified during remote painful stimulation. In migraine a defective brainstem inhibiting control may coexist with cognitive factors of focalised attention to facial pain, less sensitive to distraction by a second pain.


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Correspondence to Marina de Tommaso.

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de Tommaso, M., Difruscolo, O., Sardaro, M. et al. Effects of remote cutaneous pain on trigeminal laser-evoked potentials in migraine patients. J Headache Pain 8, 167–174 (2007).

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  • Migraine
  • Laser-evoked potentials
  • Diffuse noxious inhibiting control


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