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Background Migraine attacks are unpredictable, precluding preemptive interventions and leading to lack of control over individuals' lives. Although there are neurophysiological changes 24-48 hours before migraine attacks, so far, they have not been used in patients' management. This study evaluates the applicability and the ability to identify pre-attack changes of daily "at home" electroencephalography obtained with a portable system for migraine patients.Methods Patients with episodic migraine fulfilling ICHD-3 beta criteria used a mobile system composed of a wireless EEG device (BrainStation (R), Neuroverse (R), Inc., USA) and mobile application (BrainVitals(M)(R), Neuroverse (R), Inc., USA) to self-record their neural activity daily at home while resting and while performing an attention task, over the course of 2 weeks. Standard EEG spectral analysis and event-related brain potentials (ERP) methods were used and recordings were grouped by time from migraine attacks (i.e. "Interictal day", "24 h Before Migraine", "Migraine day" and "Post Migraine"). Results Twenty-four patients (22 women) recorded an average of 13.3 +/- 1.9 days and had 2 +/- 0.9 attacks. Twenty-four hours before attack onset, there was a statistically significant modulation of relative power in the delta (decrease) and beta (increase) frequency bands, at rest, and a significant reduction of the amplitude and inter-trial coherence measures of an attention event-related brain potential (P300). Conclusions This proof-of-concept study shows that brain state monitoring, utilising an easy-to-use wearable EEG system to track neural modulations at home, can identify physiological changes preceding a migraine attack enabling valuable pre-symptom prediction and subsequent early intervention.


Martins, Isabel P.;  Westerfield, Marissa;  Lopes, Marco;  Maruta, Carolina;  Gil-da-Costa, Ricardo

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  • The study published by Martins et al adds substantial knowledge to the headache field. It brings the idea of monitoring episodic migraine episodic patients using continue EEG devices at home to record and identify the migraine pattern through the days. 24 patients were followed during na average of 13,3 days, wearing a portable device. Abnormal neurophysiological patterns found in 12,5 % of patients predicted the occurence of a headache attack.
    The opportunity of treating a migraine episode before it comes is ideal in a preventive treatment, but which approach is better, pharmachological or non-pharmacological, has yet to be determined. Future studies should be done with other ways of predicting a headache, with a more simple technique, feasible for the patient and less expensive.

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