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Migraine

  • Silvia Benemei
  • Paola Nicoletti
  • Jay G. Capone
  • Francesco De Cesaris
  • Pierangelo Geppetti
Chapter
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 194)

Abstract

Migraine is a neurovascular disorder which affects one fifth of the general population. Disability due to migraine is severe and involves patients from infancy through senescence and it is aggravated by the fact there is no complete cure. However, various drugs for the symptomatic or prophylactic treatment of the disease are available. Recently, better knowledge of the neurobiological and pharmacological aspects of a subset of trigeminal primary sensory neurons has provided key information for the development of effective molecules that specifically target the activation of the trigeminovascular system and may represent a significant advancement in the treatment of the disease. These novel antagonists block the receptor for the sensory neuropeptide calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), which upon release from peripheral terminals of trigeminal perivascular neurons dilates cranial arterial vessels. Whether neurogenic vasodilatation is the major contributing factor to generate the pain and the associated symptoms of the migraine attack or whether other sites of action of CGRP receptor antagonists are responsible for the antimigraine effect of these compounds is the subject of current and intense research.

Keywords

Neurogenic vadodilatation Calcitonin gene-related peptide Primary sensory neurons CGRP receptor 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The paper was supported in part by grants from Consorzio Ferrara Ricerche, Ferrara, and by Fondazione DEI-Onlus, Florence, Italy.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silvia Benemei
    • 1
  • Paola Nicoletti
    • 1
  • Jay G. Capone
    • 1
  • Francesco De Cesaris
    • 1
  • Pierangelo Geppetti
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for the Study of Headache and Department of Preclinical and Clinical PharmacologyUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly
  2. 2.Headache CenterUniversity Hospital S. AnnaFerraraItaly

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