Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Short report
Cortical folding influences migraine aura symptoms in CADASIL
  1. Eric Jouvent1,2,3,
  2. Jean-François Mangin3,
  3. Dominique Hervé1,2,
  4. Marco Düring4,
  5. Martin Dichgans4,
  6. Hugues Chabriat1,2
  1. 1Univ Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, UMR 740 INSERM, France
  2. 2Department of Neurology, AP-HP, Lariboisière Hospital, Paris, France
  3. 3LNAO, Neurospin, I2BM, CEA, France
  4. 4Institute for Stroke and Dementia Research, Medical Centre, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Professor H Chabriat, Service de Neurologie, Hôpital Lariboisière, 2 rue Ambroise Paré, 75010 Paris, France; hugues.chabriat{at}


Objective Migraine with aura is a hallmark of cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL). In contrast with the majority of CADASIL patients, some affected subjects never experience visual symptoms during their attacks of migraine with aura. The aim of this study was to determine whether specific morphology of the primary visual cortex is associated with the absence of visual symptoms during migraine aura in CADASIL.

Methods Patients from a large cohort of CADASIL patients, aged <45 years, and with a modified Rankin's scale ≤1 were included in the study. Width and depth of the calcarine sulcus in the primary visual cortex as well as cortical thickness in its neighbourhood were compared between patients with visual and those with non-visual migraine auras.

Results 31 patients had visual symptoms (VA group) while nine reported only non-visual symptoms (NVA group) during their migraine auras. Asymmetry index of the calcarine sulcal depth largely differed between the NVA group and the VA group (0.22±0.1 vs −0.004±0.2; p=1.7×10−6). The width of the right calcarine sulcus was significantly lower in the VA group (p=0.04) and cortical thickness was larger in the NVA group (p=0.03).

Conclusion The absence of visual symptoms during migraine auras was associated with a profound asymmetry of the primary visual cortex. Aura symptoms seem to be linked to the morphology of the primary visual cortex in CADASIL. This finding potentially reflects more general relationships between spreading depression and cortex morphology in migraine with aura.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Funding This work was supported by PHRC grant AOR 02-001 (DRC/APHP) and performed with the help of ARNEVA (Association de Recherche en Neurologie VAsculaire), Hôpital Lariboisiere, France, ‘La Fondation Planiol’ and ‘La Fondation NRJ–Institut de France’. EJ was supported by a grant from the Fonds d'Etude et de Recherche du Corps Médical-FERCM and the Société Française de Neurologie-SFN.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval An independent ethics committee approved the study in each centre.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.