Internal Medicine
Online ISSN : 1349-7235
Print ISSN : 0918-2918
ISSN-L : 0918-2918
Identification of Everyday Sounds Perceived as Noise by Migraine Patients
Tomoharu IshikawaMuneto TatsumotoKatuhiro MakiMinoru MitsuiHiroshi HasegawaKoichi Hirata
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2019 Volume 58 Issue 11 Pages 1565-1572


Objective Sound hypersensitivity is highly comorbid with migraine headaches. To elucidate the pathogenic mechanism of migraine attacks, we must first identify the types of everyday environmental sounds they perceive as unpleasant and clarify the acoustic properties of such sounds. This study aimed to clarify the true nature of "noise," i.e. everyday sounds perceived as unpleasant by migraineurs, by evaluating their subjective comfort/discomfort in response to several sounds commonly heard in everyday life.

Methods Participants were presented with 20 environmental sounds they would likely hear daily. Subjects rated the pleasantness/unpleasantness of each stimulus using a nine-step scale.

Patients We recruited 50 adults with migraine headaches (46 women, 4 men) and 50 healthy controls (35 women, 15 men).

Results Migraineurs provided statistically significantly lower (more unpleasant) ratings to ambulance sirens, police car sirens, and railroad crossing bells than did controls. Our analysis also investigated the acoustic characteristics associated with higher rating gaps between the two groups. Greater divergence in ratings for the same stimulus was associated with less power (smaller amplitude envelope) and slower temporal variation in signals in the 400-Hz band.

Conclusion We identified specific signal components associated with different subjective (un) pleasantness scores between migraineurs and healthy adults, which may lead to the elucidation of the pathogenic mechanism underlying migraine attacks triggered by sound.

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© 2019 by The Japanese Society of Internal Medicine
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