Migraine and Inhibitory System – I Can't Hold It!

Imaging (A DaSilva, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Imaging


The exact pathophysiological mechanisms leading to the activation and sensitization of the trigeminovascular pathway, which in turns results in the migraine attack, are not completely elucidated. It is likely that direct activation by cortical spreading depression, together with dysfunctional central control of pain, plays a major role in the onset and spreading of the migraine attack. This review focuses on recent structural and functional neuroimaging studies that investigated the role of subcortical and cortical structures in modulating nociceptive input in migraine, which outlined the presence of an imbalance between inhibitory and excitatory modulation of pain processing in the disease.


Migraine Pain modulation Disinhibition Brainstem Cortical spreading depression Cortical dysexcitability 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical ImagingMassachusetts General HospitalCharlestownUSA
  2. 2.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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