Pathophysiology of Migraine

Ana Recober, MD Headache p. 586-596 June 2021, Vol.27, No.3 doi: 10.1212/CON.0000000000000983
REVIEW ARTICLES
BROWSE ARTICLES
Article as PDF
-- Select an option --

PURPOSE OF REVIEW This article summarizes the current understanding of the pathophysiology of migraine, including some controversial aspects of the underlying mechanisms of the disorder.

RECENT FINDINGS Recent functional neuroimaging studies focusing on the nonpainful symptoms of migraine have identified key areas of the central nervous system implicated in the early phases of a migraine attack. Clinical studies of spontaneous and provoked migraine attacks, together with preclinical studies using translational animal models, have led to a better understanding of the disease and the development of disease-specific and targeted therapies.

SUMMARY Our knowledge of the pathophysiology of migraine has advanced significantly in the past decades. Current evidence supports our understanding of migraine as a complex cyclical brain disorder that likely results from dysfunctional sensory processing and dysregulation of homeostatic mechanisms. This article reviews the underlying mechanisms of the clinical manifestations of each phase of the migraine cycle.

Address correspondence to Dr Ana Recober, Lankenau Medical Center, MOB East, Ste 256, 100 E Lancaster Ave, Wynnewood, PA 19096, [email protected].

RELATIONSHIP DISCLOSURE: Dr Recober serves on an advisory board for Allergan and receives licensing fees for patents from the University of Iowa Foundation/Alder BioPharmaceuticals, Inc.

UNLABELED USE OF PRODUCTS/INVESTIGATIONAL USE DISCLOSURE: Dr Recober reports no disclosure.

© 2021 American Academy of Neurology.