Laterality judgements in patients with frequent episodic migraine

Kerstin Luedtke*, Julian Edlhaimb

*Corresponding author for this work
2 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Migraine is a cyclic disorder but also a chronic pain condition. Left-right recognition tasks have been shown to be impaired in patients with chronic pain. Objectives: To investigate whether laterality judgements of migraine patients depend on the status within the migraine cycle. Methods: 34 episodic migraine patients completed a laterality recognition task on 30 consecutive days using the Recognise™ software. Reaction time and number of mistakes of recognising the left or right side of a face or neck movements to the right or left were recorded and analysed longitudinally. Ictal days (48 h and 24 h prior to the attack; during the headache phase; 24 h after the attack) were contrasted against interictal days using repeated measures ANOVAs. 4 headache-free controls served to investigate the natural fluctuation over time and to compare migraine versus non-migraine data in a secondary exploratory analysis. Results: 1691 data sets from migraine patients and 183 from control participants were included in the analyses. Results indicated that performance varied throughout the migraine cycle but only showed a clear pattern of prolonged response times for images of movements to the right (F(4,1690) = 2.412; p = 0.047), while data for frequency of correct answers and for the left side remained inconclusive. Migraine patients had a reduced frequency of correct answers (right: F(1,1873) = 11.426; p = 0.001; left: F(1,1873) = 5.873; p = 0.015). Response times where unaffected. Laterality judgements were not correlated with the dominant headache side. Conclusions: The current data shows that laterality judgements can depend on the status within the migraine cycle. Laterality judgements of migraine patients where comparable to other chronic pain conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102316
JournalMusculoskeletal Science and Practice
Publication statusPublished - 02.2021

Research Areas and Centers

  • Health Sciences

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 206-03 Experimental and Theoretical Neurosciences of Networks
  • 206-07 Clinical Neurology Neurosurgery and Neuroradiology

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