MRI Specialists Migraine Treatment Centers

Migraine headaches are thought to be caused by the widening of blood vessels found between the skull and the brain. The widening of these blood vessels activates the nerve that is responsible for feeling and movement in the face. This nerve is called the trigeminal nerve. Often migraine triggers are disturbances from facial tissue. The three layers of tissue covering the brain and the spinal cord are called meninges. This study investigated whether widening/ dilation of the meninges caused severe pain in facial tissue.

Rats were put to sleep. During this time scientists did one of three things. 1. They harmfully stimulated one of the tissue layers surrounding the brain called the dura mater. 2. They non-harmfully stimulated the hairs on the rat’s faces or 3. They briefly caused dilation of the blood vessels of the meninges. Dilation of the blood vessels in the brain was caused by giving the rats a substance called a-CGRP. CGRP is a powerful dilator of blood vessels in the brain. Dilation caused by this substance also helped the responses in the facial hairs. During the experiments, activity of the trigeminal nerve was recorded.

‘5-HT1B/1D’ was used to block the stimulation of the dura mater. The substance L-741,604 was able to block some responses caused by non-harmful stimulation of the face. Responses coming from the dura mater and the face were blocked but those coming from only the face were not blocked.

These results showed that dilation of the blood vessels in the meninges triggers the trigeminal nerve to affect sensors on the face. This effect was blocked when the cell ‘5-HT1B/1D’ was activated. When blood vessels of the dura mater are dilated for a long period, during a headache, it may make the trigeminal nerve sensitive. This sensitivity results in the migraine symptoms such as headache pain and pain outside of the skull. Blocking this sensitivity can provide a new treatment for migraines.


View the original migraine treatment study at this link: Blocking sensitivity of the nerve in the head could serve as a new migraine treatment strategy.

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