Current Pain and Headache Reports

, Volume 11, Issue 5, pp 343–351 | Cite as

Sensitization, glutamate, and the link between migraine and fibromyalgia

  • Paola SarchielliEmail author
  • Massimiliano Di Filippo
  • Katiuscia Nardi
  • Paolo Calabresi


Recent advances have shed insight on the pathophysiologic mechanisms of fibromyalgia and migraine, especially in the chronic form. A growing body of evidence supports the involvement of peripheral and central sensitization disturbances of pain-related processes underlying both disorders. They involve increased glutamate transmission through interaction with its ionotropic and metabotropic receptors. Few studies supporting the implication of this excitatory amino acid in chronic migraine and primary fibromyalgia demonstrated increased levels of glutamate in the cerebrospinal fluid of affected patients. These findings have implications for future therapies directed against glutamate receptors (in particular, N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors). Limited clinical experience in this regard, although promising, does not exclude additional mechanisms contributing to the maintenance of pain, which can be the target of therapeutic approaches in both disorders.


Migraine NMDA Receptor Dorsal Horn Central Sensitization Chronic Migraine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Current Medicine Group LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paola Sarchielli
    • 1
    Email author
  • Massimiliano Di Filippo
  • Katiuscia Nardi
  • Paolo Calabresi
  1. 1.Neurologic Clinic, Department of Medical and Surgical Specialties and Public HealthUniversity of Perugia, Ospedale Santa Maria della MisericordiaSan SistoItaly

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