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Neuronal Signal Substances as Biomarkers of Migraine

Authors

  • Lars Edvinsson MD


  • From the Department of Medicine, Clinical Sciences, University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.

Address all correspondence to Dr. Lars Edvinsson, Department of Medicine, Clinical Sciences, University Hospital, S-221 85, Lund, Sweden.

Abstract

Of the sensory nervous system associated signal substances it is only calcitonin generelated peptide (CGRP) that is reliably associated with the degree of pain in the acute attacks of primary headaches. The treatment with triptans alleviates both the pain and the associated CGRP release, putatively via a presynaptic effect on the sensory nerves. The studies of opoids and other sensory neuropeptides are inconsistent and require further analysis. Initial positive data on endothelin and its receptors have turned out negative. Nitric oxide mechanisms are still debated both in terms of initiation of attacks and for the treatment.

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