Migraine is characterized by moderate to severe pulsatile head pain. Migraine pain is initiated and supported by interactions between the peripheral meningeal nociceptive system, brainstem network and central pain centers. Thus, migraine pain can potentially be blocked at different levels by endogenous anti-nociceptive cascades that overlap among these structures. Indeed, in addition to the already available anti-migraine pharmacological agents, another approach to treat migraine could be based on specific enhancement of endogenous pain-inhibiting mechanisms. These mechanisms could exploit the natural anti-nociceptive effects of endogenous opioids, endocannabinoids, serotonin, and norepinephrine to inhibit pain signals, acting through existing inhibitory neuronal networks.
The aim of this Collection is to provide a better understanding of the basic molecular mechanisms of endogenous pain management. This may lead to better and/or alternative migraine pain treatments based on enhancement of endogenous analgesic systems. A deeper knowledge of the specific location, profile, and leading mechanisms of these endogenous anti-nociceptive systems in migraine patients may give a chance to block pain more efficiently in a personalized manner.
Possible topics include:
- Basic mechanisms and profiles of endogenous opioid, cannabinoid, serotoninergic, noradrenergic, and periaqueductal grey neuronal systems in areas involved in migraine pain signaling.
- Strategies and newly developed compounds to enhance endogenous anti-nociceptive systems to achieve migraine pain analgesia.
- Debate and research on advantages and disadvantages of endogenous management of migraine pain compared to exogenous pharmacological approach, including available anti-migraine drugs, exogenous cannabinoids and opioids.
- Additional investigation and discussion on other candidates as endogenous anti-nociceptive systems and molecules, broadening our knowledge on the mechanisms that may offer new and alternative therapeutic possibilities for migraine pain relief.
- Translational value and applications of enhancing endogenous systems to combat migraine pain.