Open Access

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

  • Marina de Tommaso1Email author,
  • Olimpia Difruscolo1,
  • Michele Sardaro1,
  • Giuseppe Libro1,
  • Carla Pecoraro1,
  • Claudia Serpino1,
  • Paolo Lamberti1 and
  • Paolo Livrea1
The Journal of Headache and Pain20078:385

Received: 12 March 2007

Accepted: 16 May 2007

Published: 11 June 2007


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.


Migraine Laser-evoked potentials Diffuse noxious inhibiting control