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Papers of the Week

Papers: 24 Jun 2023 - 30 Jun 2023


Human Studies, Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology

Migraine/Headache, Psychological/Comorbidities

2023 Jun 13

Int J Mol Sci




Excitation-Inhibition Imbalance in Migraine: From Neurotransmitters to Brain Oscillations.


O'Hare L, Tarasi L, Asher JM, Hibbard PB, Romei V


Migraine is among the most common and debilitating neurological disorders typically affecting people of working age. It is characterised by a unilateral, pulsating headache often associated with severe pain. Despite the intensive research, there is still little understanding of the pathophysiology of migraine. At the electrophysiological level, altered oscillatory parameters have been reported within the alpha and gamma bands. At the molecular level, altered glutamate and GABA concentrations have been reported. However, there has been little cross-talk between these lines of research. Thus, the relationship between oscillatory activity and neurotransmitter concentrations remains to be empirically traced. Importantly, how these indices link back to altered sensory processing has to be clearly established as yet. Accordingly, pharmacologic treatments have been mostly symptom-based, and yet sometimes proving ineffective in resolving pain or related issues. This review provides an integrative theoretical framework of excitation-inhibition imbalance for the understanding of current evidence and to address outstanding questions concerning the pathophysiology of migraine. We propose the use of computational modelling for the rigorous formulation of testable hypotheses on mechanisms of homeostatic imbalance and for the development of mechanism-based pharmacological treatments and neurostimulation interventions.