Objective: To determine whether
susceptibility to motion sickness provoked by unexpected movement
is associated with susceptibility to visually induced motion
sickness in migraine sufferers.
Background: Migraine sufferers are unusually
susceptible to motion sickness, but the mechanism of this
susceptibility is not well understood. Possibilities include
vestibular dysfunction secondary to vasomotor disturbances
during migraine attacks, hyperexcitability of brainstem circuits
that produce symptoms of motion sickness and migraine, and
heightened susceptibility to visual illusions of movement.
Method: A motion sickness susceptibility
questionnaire that listed common triggers of motion sickness
was filled out by 42 migraine sufferers and 39 headache-free
controls of similar age and sex distribution to migraine sufferers.
Results: A greater proportion of migraine sufferers
than controls reported that traveling in cars and buses, reading in
the car, using playground equipment, watching wide-screen movies
and movement simulators, induced motion sickness. However,
visually induced motion sickness appeared to be independent of
motion sickness to most movement-related stimuli in migraine
Conclusions: The lack of association between
susceptibility to movement induced and visually induced motion
sickness implies that more than one mechanism increases
susceptibility to motion sickness in migraine sufferers.