μ-Opioid activation in the prefrontal cortex in migraine attacks – brief report I

Authors

  • Alexandre F. DaSilva,

    Corresponding author
    1. Headache and Orofacial Pain Effort (HOPE), Biologic and Materials Sciences Department, School of Dentistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
    2. Michigan Center for Oral Health Research (MCOHR), School of Dentistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
    3. Translational Neuroimaging Laboratory, Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute (MBNI), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
    • Correspondence

      Alexandre F. DaSilva, Headache & Orofacial Pain Effort (HOPE), Biologic & Materials Sciences, School of Dentistry, University of Michigan, 1011 N. University Ave., Room 1014A, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1078. Tel: 734 615-3807; Fax: 734 763-3453; E-mail: adasilva@umich.edu

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  • Thiago D. Nascimento,

    1. Headache and Orofacial Pain Effort (HOPE), Biologic and Materials Sciences Department, School of Dentistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
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  • Marcos F. DosSantos,

    1. Headache and Orofacial Pain Effort (HOPE), Biologic and Materials Sciences Department, School of Dentistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
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  • Sarah Lucas,

    1. Headache and Orofacial Pain Effort (HOPE), Biologic and Materials Sciences Department, School of Dentistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
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  • Hendrik van Holsbeeck,

    1. Headache and Orofacial Pain Effort (HOPE), Biologic and Materials Sciences Department, School of Dentistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
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  • Misty DeBoer,

    1. Headache and Orofacial Pain Effort (HOPE), Biologic and Materials Sciences Department, School of Dentistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
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  • Eric Maslowski,

    1. 3DLab, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
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  • Tiffany Love,

    1. Translational Neuroimaging Laboratory, Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute (MBNI), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
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  • Ilkka K. Martikainen,

    1. Headache and Orofacial Pain Effort (HOPE), Biologic and Materials Sciences Department, School of Dentistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
    2. Translational Neuroimaging Laboratory, Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute (MBNI), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
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  • Robert A. Koeppe,

    1. PET Physics Section, Division of Nuclear Medicine, Radiology Department, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
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  • Yolanda R. Smith,

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
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  • Jon-Kar Zubieta

    1. Translational Neuroimaging Laboratory, Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute (MBNI), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
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Abstract

We evaluated in vivo the μ-opioid system during spontaneous episodic migraine headaches. Seven patients were scanned at different phases of their migraine using positron emission tomography with the selective μ-opioid receptor (μOR) radiotracer [11C]carfentanil. In the ictal phase, there was μOR activation in the medial prefrontal cortex, which was strongly associated with the μOR availability level during the interictal phase. Furthermore, μ-opioid binding changes showed moderate negative correlation with the combined extension and severity of the attacks. These results indicate for the first time that there is high μOR activation in the migraineurs' brains during headache attacks in response to their pain.

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