Neurological Sciences

, Volume 28, Supplement 2, pp S94-S96

First online:

Biochemistry of neuromodulation in primary headaches: focus on anomalies of tyrosine metabolism

  • G. D'AndreaAffiliated withHeadache Center, Neurology Clinic “Villa Margherita”
  • , G. P. NorderaAffiliated withHeadache Center, Neurology Clinic “Villa Margherita”
  • , F. PeriniAffiliated withHeadache Center, Neurology Dpt., Vicenza Hospital
  • , G. AllaisAffiliated withWoman's Headache Center, Department of Gynecology and Obstretrics, University of Turin
  • , F. GranellaAffiliated withDepartment of Neurosciences, University of Parma

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Recent studies have suggested that abnormalities of dopamine and trace amines (tyramine, octopamine, and synephrine), products of tyrosine metabolism, may constitute the metabolic events that predispose to the occurrence of cluster headache (CH) and migraine attacks. This hypothesis is supported by the following evidences: the discovery of trace amine associated receptors (TAARs), expressed on the olfactory epithelium, amigdala, hypothalamus, periacqueductal gray, and the biochemical anomalies of dopamine and trace amines. The possible effects of these biochemical abnormalities on TAARs and dopamine receptors, located in different areas of CNS, may explain the behaviour (restlessness, anxiety and, at times, hypersexuality) and the autonomic signs during the painful attacks of CH, and the premonitory symptoms of migraine crisis (thirst, craving, yawning, alteration of smell, depression etc.).