Sensory hypersensitivities in those with persistent post-traumatic headache versus migraine

Jeffery J. Hanna, Catherine D. Chong, Gina M. Dumkrieger, Katherine B. Ross, Todd J. Schwedt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background and Objective: Symptoms of persistent post-traumatic headache (PPTH) most often resemble those of migraine, including the presence of photo-, phono-, and cutaneous hypersensitivities. The severity of these hypersensitivity symptoms in those with PPTH compared to those with migraine has yet to be fully elucidated. The objective of this study was to compare symptoms of sensory hypersensitivities between PPTH, migraine, and healthy controls (HCs). Further defining characteristics of PPTH and its similarities to migraine might assist with developing future diagnostic criteria for PPTH and provide insights into PPTH mechanisms. Methods: This analysis included 56 individuals with PPTH attributed to mild traumatic brain injury, 30 with migraine, and 36 HCs. To assess sensory hypersensitivities, all subjects completed the Allodynia Symptom Checklist-12, the Photosensitivity Assessment Questionnaire, and the Hyperacusis Questionnaire. Differences among groups were assessed using Fisher’s exact test, Kruskal–Wallis, or Mann–Whitney U test. Results: PPTH and migraine groups had greater severity of cutaneous, photo-, and phono-hypersensitivity symptoms compared to HCs. There were no statistically significant differences between the PPTH and migraine groups for cutaneous allodynia (median [first quartile, third quartile]; PPTH: 4.0 [2.0, 7.0]; migraine: 5.0 [3.0, 8.0]; p = 0.54) or photosensitivity severity (PPTH: 5.0 [2.0, 7.0]; migraine: 5.0 [2.0, 6.0]; p = 0.53). Those with PPTH had higher hyperacusis scores compared to those with migraine (PPTH: 23.0 [17.0, 31.0]; migraine: 13.5 [9.0, 24.0]; p = 0.001). Conclusion: Sensory hypersensitivity symptoms among individuals with PPTH are at least as severe as those experienced by people with migraine. Results further confirm symptom similarities between PPTH and migraine and could suggest that PPTH and migraine have a partially shared underlying pathophysiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCephalalgia Reports
StatePublished - 2020


  • cutaneous allodynia
  • migraine
  • phonophobia
  • photophobia
  • post-traumatic headache
  • sensory hypersensitivity
  • traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Sensory hypersensitivities in those with persistent post-traumatic headache versus migraine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this