Cerebral Blood Flow in Migraine


  • Dr. John Edmeads M.D., F.R.C.P. (C), F.A.C.P.

    1. Department of Neurologic Sciences, Sunnybrook Medical Centre; and Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto
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  • Presented in part at the 19th Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Headache, June 18, 19, 1977, San Francisco, Calif.



Cerebral blood flow has seldom been measured during attacks of migraine and cluster headache. The literature is reviewed and five cases studied in our laboratory are described. The results of these studies confirm Wolff's hypothesis that cerebral blood flow is decreased during auras and increased during headaches. However, the distribution in time and space of the blood flow changes do not always correlate with the clinical features of the attack. Autoregulation of cerebral blood vessels may be impaired in aura and headache, and this may be a factor in intensifying and prolonging attacks.