Adolescents with migraine and healthy adolescents have similar inhibitory pain modulation capability despite having marked differences in pain sensitivity, according to a recent study. Although participants with a family history of migraine (Fam-His) were asymptomatic, they demonstrated alterations in pain processing, which may serve as markers for prediction of migraine development. In order to determine if inhibitory pain modulation occurs in youth as it does in adults, researchers performed a quantitative sensory testing investigation in adolescents with migraine (n=19). These patients were compared to healthy adolescents with (n=20) or without (n=29) Fam-His of migraine (eg, first degree relative with migraine). They found:
- In response to graded heat stimuli, Fam-His participants reported higher pain intensity ratings compared to migraine patients, who in turn, reported higher pain intensity ratings than the healthy controls.
- For heat- and pressure- conditioned pain modulation (CPM), there was no significant group difference in the magnitude of CPM responses.
Nahman-Averbuch H, Leon E, Hunter BM, et al. Increased pain sensitivity but normal pain modulation in adolescents with migraine. [Published online ahead of print January 7, 2019]. Pain. doi:10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001477.