OBJECTIVE: Differences between people with and without migraine on various measures of visual perception have been attributed to abnormal cortical processing due to the disease. The aim of the present study was to explore the dynamics of the basic interictal state with regard to the extrastriate, motion-responsive middle temporal area (MT-complex) with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) at 3 tesla using coherent/incoherent moving dot stimuli.
METHOD: Twenty-four migraine patients (12 with aura [MwA], 12 without aura [MwoA]) and 12 healthy subjects participated in the study. The individual cortical folding pattern was accounted for by using a cortical matching approach.
RESULTS: In the inferior-posterior portion of the MT-complex, most likely representing MT, control subjects showed stronger bilateral activation compared to MwA and MwoA patients. Compared with healthy controls MwoA and MwA patients showed significantly stronger activation mainly at the left side in response to visual stimulation in the superior-anterior portion of the MT-complex, representing the medial-superior temporal area (MST).
CONCLUSION: Our findings strengthen the hypothesis that hyperresponsiveness of the visual cortex in migraine goes beyond early visual areas, even in the interictal period.