Semin Neurol 2010; 30(2): 120-130
DOI: 10.1055/s-0030-1249222
© Thieme Medical Publishers

Pathophysiology of Migraine

F. Michael Cutrer1
  • 1Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
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29. März 2010 (online)


Our understanding of migraine pathophysiology is a work in progress. As more is learned about migraine, it seems that the probability of identifying a single unifying explanation for this common disorder becomes less and less. Although the neuroanatomy and elements of pain physiology underlying migraine attacks are probably shared pathophysiologic elements, the emerging complexity of migraine genetics suggests that the acute attack may be the final common expression of more than one type of initiating abnormality. After a brief summary of the neuroanatomic structures involved in the generation of migraine attacks and the traditional theories of migraine, the author focuses on the current understanding of migraine genetics and reviews recent data from the neuroimaging and the neurophysiology of migraine.


F. Michael Cutrer, M.D. 

Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic

200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905

eMail: [email protected]