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Logo of bmcneulBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Neurology
 
BMC Neurol. 2007; 7: 23.
Published online 2007 August 7. doi:  10.1186/1471-2377-7-23
PMCID: PMC2048502

Cardiovascular responses to cognitive stress in patients with migraine and tension-type headache

Abstract

Background

The purpose of this study was to investigate the temporal relationship between autonomic changes and pain activation in migraine and tension-type headache induced by stress in a model relevant for everyday office-work.

Methods

We measured pain, blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR) and skin blood flow (BF) during and after controlled low-grade cognitive stress in 22 migraineurs during headache-free periods, 18 patients with tension-type headache (TTH) and 44 healthy controls. The stress lasted for one hour and was followed by 30 minutes of relaxation.

Results

Cardiovascular responses to cognitive stress in migraine did not differ from those in control subjects. In TTH patients HR was maintained during stress, whereas it decreased for migraineurs and controls. A trend towards a delayed systolic BP response during stress was also observed in TTH. Finger BF recovery was delayed after stress and stress-induced pain was associated with less vasoconstriction in TTH during recovery.

Conclusion

It is hypothesized that TTH patients have different stress adaptive mechanisms than controls and migraineurs, involving delayed cardiovascular adaptation and reduced pain control system inhibition.


Articles from BMC Neurology are provided here courtesy of BioMed Central