Pathophysiology of migraine

F. Michael Cutrer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The cause and pathophysiology of migraine are not well understood. Over the years research into migraine pathophysiology has focused on the physiology and pharmacology of the headache, the changes in cerebral cortex associated with the symptoms of the aura, and more recently the genetics underlying the migraine syndromes. In this discussion, the neuroanatomical structures activated during migraine attacks, the traditional theories of migraine that serve as the foundation for current research, and the essential findings from current migraine pathophysiological research will be reviewed. Investigations in migraine can be divided into those related to the brain events initiating a migraine attack, those examining the mechanisms of activation and transmission within trigeminal afferent neurons, and those focused on the effect of and the modulation of nociception trigeminal input within the central nervous system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-180
Number of pages10
JournalSeminars in Neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2006


  • Aura
  • Central sensitization
  • Migraine
  • Pathophysiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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