Abnormal Brain Activity in Migraineurs

July 22, 2010

New research shows abnormal brain activity in migraineurs to be more widespread than thought.

"There has been increasing evidence that the processing and perception of sensory stimuli is abnormal even outside of attacks," said Dr. Till Sprenger, regarding the results of study he and a team of researchers from CSF Headache Group and Technische Universität München. “Now our findings underline that abnormal brain activity in migraineurs is not restricted to attacks—that there is an extensive alteration of functional connectivity in multiple networks reflecting the migraineurs phenotype, emphasizing that migraine is a disorder of the brain."

The research, to be presented at the American Headache Society's 52nd Annual Scientific Meeting—which starts on Saturday, July 24—“has been anticipated for some time and is absolutely fundamental to our understanding of migraine," said David Dodick, M.D. president of the American Headache Society. "It is likely that the observed interictal abnormalities of brain activity and connectivity explains the predisposition to spontaneous attacks, as well as the vulnerability of migraineurs to a myriad of external and endogenous triggers. It may also explain the persistence of headache in some sufferers and the persistence of symptoms in between attacks of pain (e.g. sensitivity to light)."

More on Migraines Making Headlines:

When Weather Makes Migraines Worse

Dr. David Dodick, a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona answers a question from a New York Timesreader regarding how to help alleviate weather-triggered migraines?

Experimental Head Implants Give Migraine Headache Sufferers Some Relief

The Washington, DC-based FOX news covers the story of a woman who received an implantable device at North Shore Medical Center that has changed her life.