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Palinopsia in patients with migraine: A case-control study

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Objectives: This study was aimed at investigating the frequency of the visual phenomenon of palinopsia (visual perseveration) in patients with migraine.

Methods: We interviewed 63 patients with migraine with aura (MwA), 137 patients with migraine without aura (MwoA) and 226 sex-age-matched healthy control subjects using an ad hoc structured interview/questionnaire. The interview was divided into four classes of variables for statistical testing.

Results: Palinopsia occurred in 19/200 patients (9.5%); of them 10/63 had MwA and 9/137 MwoA (14.2% vs 6.6%, chi = 9.7, degrees of freedom = 1, p = 0.002). Patients with palinopsia had a significantly lower migraine attack frequency than those without this visual phenomenon (4.3 ± 0.3 vs 14.4 ± 0.2, z = 7.1, p < 0.0001). No healthy control subjects complained of palinopsia according to the structured interview/questionnaire.

Discussion: Palinopsia is probably under-diagnosed in patients with migraine. Further investigations are needed to assess whether migraineurs are particularly susceptible to the development of recurrent episodes of visual perseveration.

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