Migraine is characterized by a series of phases (inter-ictal, pre-ictal, ictal, and post-ictal). It is of great interest whether resting-state electroencephalography (EEG) is differentiable between these phases.
We compared resting-state EEG energy intensity and effective connectivity in different migraine phases using EEG power and coherence analyses in patients with migraine without aura as compared with healthy controls (HCs). EEG power and isolated effective coherence of delta (1–3.5 Hz), theta (4–7.5 Hz), alpha (8–12.5 Hz), and beta (13–30 Hz) bands were calculated in the frontal, central, temporal, parietal, and occipital regions.
Fifty patients with episodic migraine (1–5 headache days/month) and 20 HCs completed the study. Patients were classified into inter-ictal, pre-ictal, ictal, and post-ictal phases (n = 22, 12, 8, 8, respectively), using 36-h criteria. Compared to HCs, inter-ictal and ictal patients, but not pre- or post-ictal patients, had lower EEG power and coherence, except for a higher effective connectivity in fronto-occipital network in inter-ictal patients (p < .05). Compared to data obtained from the inter-ictal group, EEG power and coherence were increased in the pre-ictal group, with the exception of a lower effective connectivity in fronto-occipital network (p < .05). Inter-ictal and ictal patients had decreased EEG power and coherence relative to HCs, which were “normalized” in the pre-ictal or post-ictal groups.
Resting-state EEG power density and effective connectivity differ between migraine phases and provide an insight into the complex neurophysiology of migraine.