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Migraine Aura - Current Understanding and Future Perspectives

Edited by Anders Hougaard, Paolo Martelletti and Michele Viana

Collection in The Journal of Headache and Pain.

© janulla / Getty Images / iStockMigraine aura (MA) is a common, multifaceted and fascinating phenomenon. While the earliest known accounts of MA were provided by Hippocrates, the disorder continues to puzzle clinicians and scientists today. The knowledge of MA is constantly expanding and research into MA mechanisms has brought about new insights into the functioning of our brain. From a clinical point of view, MA is a disabling condition which can be difficult to distinguish from potentially life-threatening conditions such as transient ischemic attacks or epilepsy. Moreover, MA is related to an increased risk of major vascular events; a relation that is complex and currently not well understood.   

Currently, several aspects relating to this important disorder need to be addressed: 

  1. the pathophysiological mechanisms of MA and the relation to head pain are far from understood,
  2. important clinical points in the definition/classification of MA (such as an in-depth characterization of visual disturbances of MA) are missing, 
  3. the mechanisms underlying the association between MA and increased vascular risk are unknown,
  4. therapeutic guidelines do not include any specific treatment for migraine aura, and 
  5. the genetics underlying MA susceptibility are incompletely understood.

With respect to the points above, the Editor and Guest Editors of this special issue of The Journal of Headache and Pain strongly believe that headache research will benefit from a series of review articles focusing on different aspects of MA.

As the European Headache Federation (EHF) also recognizes the importance of research on migraine aura, the article-processing charges of all commissioned articles in this thematic series have been sponsored by the EHF.

Articles have undergone the journal's standard peer-review process overseen by the Editor-in-Chief. 

Conflict of interest statement

A. Hougaard has received honoraria for lecturing from Allergan, Novartis, and Teva.

P. Martelletti has received grants/research support and /or honoraria or consulting fees from Allergan, Amgen, Daiicki Sankyo, Novartis, Teva, is EU expert for European Medicine Agency, is Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Headache and Pain and Section Editor Medicine of Springer Nature Comprehensive Clinical Medicine.

M. Viana has nothing to declare.

  1. Content type: Review article

    Migraine aura (MA) is a common and disabling neurological condition, characterized by transient visual, and less frequently sensory and dysphasic aura disturbances.

    Authors: Michele Viana, Erling Andreas Tronvik, Thien Phu Do, Chiara Zecca and Anders Hougaard

    Citation: The Journal of Headache and Pain 2019 20:64

    Published on:

  2. Content type: Review article

    The purpose of this review is to provide a comprehensive overview of the findings of clinical electrophysiology studies aimed to investigate changes in information processing of migraine with aura patients.

    Authors: Gianluca Coppola, Cherubino Di Lorenzo, Vincenzo Parisi, Marco Lisicki, Mariano Serrao and Francesco Pierelli

    Citation: The Journal of Headache and Pain 2019 20:42

    Published on:

  3. Content type: Review article

    While migraine headaches can be provoked, or predicted by the presence of an aura or premonitory symptoms, the prediction or elicitation of the aura itself is more problematic. Therefore, imaging studies direc...

    Authors: Nouchine Hadjikhani and Maurice Vincent

    Citation: The Journal of Headache and Pain 2019 20:32

    Published on: