Migraine Type-Dependent Patterns of Brain Activation After Facial and Intranasal Trigeminal Stimulation

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



In migraine, the trigeminal nerve is intimately involved in the pathophysiology of the disease. We hypothesized that alterations in the sensory trigeminal activation in migraine would be reflected by EEG-derived event-related potentials (ERP). We aimed to investigate differences in the temporal and spatial processing of trigeminal stimuli between interictal migraine patients and healthy subjects. ERP to trigeminal stimuli were recorded at 128-channels to allow localization of their cortical sources with high temporal resolution. Seventeen patients with episodic migraine without aura, 17 subjects with episodic migraine with aura, and 17 healthy subjects participated in the study. The first branch of the trigeminal nerve was stimulated using intranasal chemical (CO2), cutaneous electrical, and cutaneous mechanical (air puff) stimuli. Analyses were performed with regard to micro-state segmentation, ERP source localization, and correlation with the patients’ clinical characteristics. Topographical assessments of EEG configurations were associated with the pathological condition. The source analysis revealed altered trigeminal-sensory response patterns in the precuneus, temporal pole, and cerebellum for both migraine groups during the interictal phase. The estimated current source density was positively correlated with migraine disease duration, indicating brain functional and structural changes as a consequence of the disease. Hyperactivity of the cerebellar posterior lobe was observed as a specific trigeminal response of migraine patients with aura. In conclusion, our results suggest the presence of brain changes accompanying the advancement of migraine as an expression of dysfunctional central pain processing. Hence, we identified EEG patterns in response to mechano-/chemosensory stimuli that can serve as biomarkers of migraine.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-71
Number of pages20
JournalBrain topography
Volume36 (2023)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2022

External IDs

PubMed 36370239
WOS 000882348300001
ORCID /0000-0001-9713-0183/work/146645391
ORCID /0000-0003-1311-8000/work/158767535



  • Clustering analysis, EEG, Headache, Nose, Odor, Pain, Eeg, Cerebellum, Brain, Humans, Evoked Potentials, Migraine Disorders/diagnostic imaging, Face

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