Brain state monitoring for the future prediction of migraine attacks

Isabel P. Martins*, Marissa Westerfield, Marco Lopes, Carolina Maruta, Ricardo Gil-da-Costa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Migraine attacks are unpredictable, precluding preemptive interventions and leading to lack of control over individuals' lives. Although there are neurophysiological changes 24–48 hours before migraine attacks, so far, they have not been used in patients' management. This study evaluates the applicability and the ability to identify pre-attack changes of daily “at home” electroencephalography obtained with a portable system for migraine patients. Methods: Patients with episodic migraine fulfilling ICHD-3 beta criteria used a mobile system composed of a wireless EEG device (BrainStation®, Neuroverse®, Inc., USA) and mobile application (BrainVitalsM®, Neuroverse®, Inc., USA) to self-record their neural activity daily at home while resting and while performing an attention task, over the course of 2 weeks. Standard EEG spectral analysis and event-related brain potentials (ERP) methods were used and recordings were grouped by time from migraine attacks (i.e. “Interictal day”, “24 h Before Migraine”, “Migraine day” and “Post Migraine”). Results: Twenty-four patients (22 women) recorded an average of 13.3 ± 1.9 days and had 2 ± 0.9 attacks. Twenty-four hours before attack onset, there was a statistically significant modulation of relative power in the delta (decrease) and beta (increase) frequency bands, at rest, and a significant reduction of the amplitude and inter-trial coherence measures of an attention event-related brain potential (P300). Conclusions: This proof-of-concept study shows that brain state monitoring, utilising an easy-to-use wearable EEG system to track neural modulations at home, can identify physiological changes preceding a migraine attack enabling valuable pre-symptom prediction and subsequent early intervention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-265
Number of pages11
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomarkers
  • Cyclic changes
  • Premonitory phase


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