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  • Open Access

Exciting excitable brains: an update on migraine pathophysiology

The Journal of Headache and PainOfficial Journal of the Italian Society for the Study of Headaches4:00021


This last decade has seen remarkable progress made towards unraveling the mystery of primary headache disorders like migraine and cluster. The vascular theory has been superseded by recognition that neurovascular phenomena seem to be the permissive and triggering factors in migraine and cluster headache. This understanding has been achieved through new imaging modalities such as positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging. Prior to these imaging techniques it was impossible to study the primary headache disorders because these had no structural basis. There is now an increasing body of evidence that the brain is involved primarily in cluster and migraine and that vessel dilatation is an epiphenomenon.

  • Key words Migraine
  • Hyperexcitability
  • Imaging



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