Open Access

Topo–kinesthetic memory in chronic headaches. A new test for chronic patients: preliminary report

  • L. A. Pini1Email author,
  • G. Guidetti2,
  • D. Brovia1,
  • P. Pontremoli1 and
  • P. Sarchielli3
The Journal of Headache and Pain20056:248

DOI: 10.1007/s10194-005-0248-0

Received: 28 June 2005

Accepted: 19 October 2005

Published: 10 November 2005


The objective of this study was to establish if chronic headaches with medication overuse can modify a topo–kinesthetic memory test. Nineteen patients with medication overuse headache (MOH), 13 patients with chronic tension–type headache (CTTH) without medication use and a group of "normal" subjects underwent a topo–kinesthetic memory test at T0 and after one month (T1); a control group of healthy volunteers was also tested to establish the baseline in our experimental setting. After one month, in the MOH patients there was a reduction of medication overuse from 3.3±2.65 to 1.1±2.23 (p<0.01), but no significant reduction in headache frequency and severity index, quality of life, anxiety and depression scores. The navigation time at T0 was 14.3±4.97, 27.9±10.12, 34.3±15.38 and 7.5±2.33, 10.1±2.95, 11.4±3.21 for control, MOH and CTTH with closed and open eyes, respectively (p<0.02). At T1, the MOH patients reached performances with open eyes similar to the healthy controls, while with closed eyes the navigation test reached times similar to those of CTTH patients. The topokinesthetic memory test seems both able to discriminate MOH and CTTH from healthy volunteers and to be related to pain scores but is not influenced by the use of drugs.

Key words

Topo–kinesthetic test Chronic tension–type headache MOH