Patients with migraine with aura have impaired postural responses

Gabriela F. Carvalho, P.T., Ph.D., from the University of São Paulo in Brazil, and colleagues examined the reactive postural responses among patients with migraine with and without aura, chronic migraine, and controls. Ninety patients with migraine were classified into subgroups according to the presence of aura and chronic migraine; 30 controls were also recruited. Participants underwent the motor control test (MCT) and adaptation test (ADT) protocols of dynamic posturography tests.

The researchers found that in most of the MCT conditions, patients with aura presented a greater sway area than the other groups. Delayed latency responses after ground perturbations were seen in the aura group compared with controls and patients without aura. A greater sway area in the ADT was observed in patients with aura versus those without aura, those with chronic migraine, and controls. Overall, 46 percent of the falls in the previous 12 months were explained by the MCT and ADT sway area, the frequency of aura, and the fear of falling.

“Patients with migraine with aura exhibited greater response delay and sway area than controls and other migraine subgroups during the assessment of balance following unexpected ground perturbations,” the authors write. “These findings indicate additional comorbidities related to motor control in patients with migraine aura, and etiologies remain to be elucidated in future studies.”