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Migraine as a cyclical functional disorder

Presented by
Mr Daniele Martinelli, University of Pavia, Italy
EAN 2020
During a migraine attack induced by nitroglycerin, the whole-brain functional connectivity changes systematically, involving areas well known for their roles in pain modulation and migraine generation [1]. These pilot study results suggest that migraine could be seen as a cyclical functional disorder.

In this Italian study, 5 subjects with episodic migraine were given nitroglycerin, which successfully triggered a migraine attack without aura in all of them. Subjects subsequently underwent 4 resting state functional MRI (rsfMRI) repetitions during different phases of the attack (baseline, prodromal, full-blown, recovery phase). Brainstem elements involved in the pain circuits (such as the spinal trigeminal nucleus, periaqueductal gray, and dorsal raphe nuclei) and the thalamus were found to exhibit an altered functional coupling within themselves and with the hypothalamus, particularly during the prodromal phase. Whole-brain activity coupling with the left thalamus indicated greater involvement during the full-blown phase.

  1. Martinelli D, et al. Abstract O1019, EAN 2020.

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