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Papers of the Week

Papers: 26 Aug 2023 - 1 Sep 2023


Human Studies, Neurobiology, Neuromodulation

Migraine/Headache, Psychological/Comorbidities

2023 Aug 25

Sci Rep




Occipital transcranial direct current stimulation in episodic migraine patients: effect on cerebral perfusion.


Pohl H, Sandor PS, Moisa M, Ruff CC, Schoenen J, Luechinger R, O'Gorman R, Riederer F, Gantenbein AR, Michels L


Cerebral blood flow differs between migraine patients and healthy controls during attack and the interictal period. This study compares the brain perfusion of episodic migraine patients and healthy controls and investigates the influence of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the occipital cortex. We included healthy adult controls and episodic migraineurs. After a 28-day baseline period and the baseline visit, migraine patients received daily active or sham anodal tDCS over the occipital lobe for 28 days. All participants underwent a MRI scan at baseline; migraineurs were also scanned shortly after the stimulation period and about five months later. At baseline, brain perfusion of migraine patients and controls differed in several areas; among the stimulated areas, perfusion was increased in the cuneus of healthy controls. At the first visit, the active tDCS group had an increased blood flow in regions processing visual stimuli and a decreased perfusion in other areas. Perfusion did not differ at the second follow-up visit. The lower perfusion level in migraineurs in the cuneus indicates a lower preactivation level. Anodal tDCS over the occipital cortex increases perfusion of several areas shortly after the stimulation period, but not 5 months later. An increase in the cortical preactivation level could mediate the transient reduction of the migraine frequency.Trial registration: NCT03237754 (registered at clincicaltrials.gov; full date of first trial registration: 03/08/2017).