Neurological Sciences

, Volume 29, Supplement 1, pp 123–126

Central mechanism of action of antimigraine prophylactic drugs

  • Gerardo Casucci
  • Veronica Villani
  • Fabio Frediani
Current Reality in Headache Treatments

DOI: 10.1007/s10072-008-0902-9

Cite this article as:
Casucci, G., Villani, V. & Frediani, F. Neurol Sci (2008) 29: 123. doi:10.1007/s10072-008-0902-9


The pathogenesis of migraine is obscure. A hyperexcitable brain state has been postulated. Cortical spreading depression (CSD) is the most suggestive argument for the brain hyperexcitability. It has been showed that valproate, topiramate, amitriptyline and propranolol inhibit CSD in rats, which suggests that most preventative treatments of migraine act by normalising neuronal firing and increasing a genetically lowered and environmentally modified threshold for neuronal discharge. It has also been suggested that some antimigraine prophylactic drugs (i.e., amitriptyline, candesartan and magnesium) may act by restoring central nociceptive dysmodulation.


MigraineCortical spreading depressionHyperexcitabilityCentral actionProphylactic drugs

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerardo Casucci
    • 1
  • Veronica Villani
    • 2
  • Fabio Frediani
    • 3
  1. 1.Casa di Cura S. FrancescoTelese Terme (BN)Italy
  2. 2.Neurology UnitS. Andrea Hospital “La Sapienza” UniversityRomeItaly
  3. 3.Neurological Department and Headache CenterPoliclinico “S. Pietro”Ponte San Pietro (BG)Italy