Migraine pathogenesis and state of pharmacological treatment options
UCSF Headache Group-Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA
BMC Medicine 2009, 7:71 doi:10.1186/1741-7015-7-71Published: 16 November 2009
Migraine is a largely inherited disorder of the brain characterized by a complex, but stereotypical, dysfunction of sensory processing. Often the most obvious clinical symptom is head pain, but non-headache symptoms such as photophobia, phonophobia and nausea are clearly part of the typical presentation. This review discusses the current pathophysiological concepts of migraine and migraine aura, such as a possible brainstem dysfunction and cortical spreading depression. Acute and preventive migraine treatment approaches are briefly covered with a focus on shortcomings of the currently available treatment options. A number of different receptors, such as calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), TRPV1 and glutamate receptors, are currently being targeted by potential novel migraine therapeutics. The prospects of this research are exciting and are likely to improve patient care.