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Visual system dysfunction in migraine: a review of clinical and psychophysical findings.

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • E. P. Chronicle
  • W. M. Mulleners
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1996
Issue number8
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)525-535
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This paper reviews both clinical and experimental literature relating to visual dysfunction in migraine, starting with the eye and progressing via the retina and visual pathways to the visual cortex. Migraine is associated with (i) a pupillary sympathetic hypofunction, and (ii) a cortical hypersensitivity to visual stimuli (perhaps only in migraine with aura), the pathogenesis of which remains to be determined. Various hypotheses are discussed, and it is proposed that the methods of visual psychophysics may represent a useful approach in the future study of cortical hyperexcitability in migraine. Paradoxically, little research has been directed towards understanding (i) the photophobia of migraine attacks, and (ii) how migraine may be triggered by visual stimuli. Research aimed at elucidating the mechanisms of these phenomena may enhance understanding of the pathogenes is of migraine.