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Keywords:

  • hypothalamus;
  • primary headache;
  • orexin

The primary headaches are a group of distinct individually characterized attack forms, which although varying in presentation, share some common anatomical basis responsible for the pain component of the attack. The hypothalamus is known to modulate a multitude of functions and has been shown to be involved in the pathophysiology of a variety of primary headaches including cluster headache and chronic migraine. It seems likely that it may be involved in other primary headache disorders due to their episodic nature and may underlie many of their diverse symptoms. We discuss the hypothalamic involvement in the modulation of trigeminovascular processing and examine the involvement of the hypothalamic orexinergic system as a key regulator of this function.