Visual Evoked Potential Responses after Photostress in Migraine Patients and Their Correlations with Clinical Features

J Clin Med. 2021 Mar 2;10(5):982. doi: 10.3390/jcm10050982.


In the past few years, researchers have detected subtle macular vision abnormalities using different psychophysical experimental tasks in patients with migraine. Recording of visual evoked potential (VEP) after photostress (PS) represents an objective way to verify the integrity of the dynamic properties of macular performance after exposure to intense light. VEPs were recorded before and after PS in 51 patients with migraine (19 with aura (MA) and 22 without aura (MO) between attacks, and 10 recorded during an attack (MI)) and 14 healthy volunteers. All study participants were exposed to 30 s of PS through the use of a 200-watt bulb lamp. The P100 implicit time and N75-P100 amplitude of the baseline VEP were compared with those collected every 20 s up to 200 s after PS. VEP parameters recorded at baseline did not differ between groups. In all groups, the VEP recordings exhibited a significant increase in implicit times and a reduction in amplitude at 20 s after the PS. In migraine, the percentage decrease in amplitudes observed at 20 s after photostress was significantly lower than in healthy volunteers, in both MO and MA patients, but not in MI patients. When data for MO and MA patients were combined, the percentage of amplitude change at 20 s was negatively correlated with the number of days that had elapsed since the last migraine attack, and positive correlated with attack frequency. We showed dynamic changes of recovery of VEP after PS depending on the migraine cycle. This finding, in conjunction with those previously attained with other neuromodulatory interventions using VEPs, leads us to argue that migraine-disease-related dysrhythmic thalamocortical activity precludes amplitude suppression by PS.

Keywords: cortical dysexcitability; macula; migraine; photostress; visual evoked potentials.