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Session 2, Abstract 11


Leah C. Feulner*1, Danielle Snodgrass3 , Frisca Yan-Go2 , Joanna Jen1, 2 , Rebecca K. Harper1 and Eberhardt K. Sauerland5 (Ronald M. Harper1,4 ), Department of Neurobiology,1 and Neurology,2 Audiology Clinic,3 David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the Brain Research Institute, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095; Department of Physiology,5 University of Nevada at Reno, Reno, NV

Migraine pain can be reduced by mechanical vibration of cranial and cervical nerves, specifically nerves V, VII, IX, and X and C2 and C3. That stimulation may influence central respiratory circuitry and modify breathing patterns in such a way as to compromise ventilation. We evaluated that possibility by assessing respiratory patterning in 22 females and 9 males (N=31) following cranial and cervical nerve stimulation during trials to alleviate migraine and trigeminal neuropathy pain. All procedures were approved by the UCLA Institutional Review Board. Bilateral silicon impressions of the auditory meatus were taken from each subject; these impressions had vibratory devices installed that could stimulate multiple cranial and cervical nerve sensory fields. A SomnoTouchtm device recorded signals from the thoracic and abdominal respiratory bands, ECG, and pulse oximetry sensors. A 10-minute baseline recording was followed by 35-minute stimulation, and 10-minute post-stimulation. Physiological values between conditions were evaluated using paired t-tests. No sustained periods of apnea or hyperpnea appeared in any condition. A close-to-immediate slowing and stabilization of respiratory rate occurred after vibratory stimulation onset to reduce migraine pain. The mean rate baseline was 20 breaths/min (bpm); during stimulation it was 18 bpm (p<.0004), and after stimulation, 19 bpm (p<.018). Respiratory variability significantly decreased (p