Inflammation in migraine pathogenesis: when, where, and how

  • Egilius L. H. Spierings
Part of the Progress in Inflammation Research book series (PIR)


Inflammation is one of the three mechanisms that are thought to be involved in the pathogenesis of the migraine headache and for which there is clinical experimental evidence. The other two mechanisms for which such evidence exists are extracranial arterial vasodilation and decreased inhibition of central pain transmission. In so-called migraine with aura, the headache is preceded by transient focal neurological symptoms, generally referred to as aura symptoms. In the following, the pathogenesis of the migraine headache, as well as that of the migraine aura, will be discussed. The traditional (sequential) concept of the pathogenesis of the migraine attack will be reviewed and an alternative (parallel) concept presented. Finally, the mode of action of the specific abortive antimigraine medications, the triptans and ergots, will be discussed on the basis of available experimental evidence in man.


Cerebral Blood Flow Migraine Attack Migraine Headache Migraine With Aura Migraine Without Aura 
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Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Egilius L. H. Spierings
    • 1
  1. 1.Brigham and Women’s HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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