Migraine

Hadjikhani N, Sanchez Del Rio M, Wu O, Schwartz D, Bakker D, Fischl B, Kwong KK, Cutrer FM, Rosen BR, Tootell RB, Sorensen AG, Moskowitz MA. Mechanisms of migraine aura revealed by functional MRI in human visual cortex. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2001;98(8):4687-92.Abstract
Cortical spreading depression (CSD) has been suggested to underlie migraine visual aura. However, it has been challenging to test this hypothesis in human cerebral cortex. Using high-field functional MRI with near-continuous recording during visual aura in three subjects, we observed blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal changes that demonstrated at least eight characteristics of CSD, time-locked to percept/onset of the aura. Initially, a focal increase in BOLD signal (possibly reflecting vasodilation), developed within extrastriate cortex (area V3A). This BOLD change progressed contiguously and slowly (3.5 +/- 1.1 mm/min) over occipital cortex, congruent with the retinotopy of the visual percept. Following the same retinotopic progression, the BOLD signal then diminished (possibly reflecting vasoconstriction after the initial vasodilation), as did the BOLD response to visual activation. During periods with no visual stimulation, but while the subject was experiencing scintillations, BOLD signal followed the retinotopic progression of the visual percept. These data strongly suggest that an electrophysiological event such as CSD generates the aura in human visual cortex.
Arkink EB, Bleeker EJW, Schmitz N, Schoonman GG, Wu O, Ferrari MD, van Buchem MA, van Osch MJ, Kruit MC. Cerebral perfusion changes in migraineurs: a voxelwise comparison of interictal dynamic susceptibility contrast MRI measurements. Cephalalgia 2012;32(4):279-88.Abstract
INTRODUCTION: The increased risk of cerebro- and cardiovascular disease in migraineurs may be the consequence of a systemic condition affecting whole body vasculature. At cerebrovascular level, this may be reflected by interictal global or regional cerebral perfusion abnormalities. Whether focal perfusion changes occur during interictal migraine has not been convincingly demonstrated. METHODS: We measured brain perfusion with dynamic susceptibility contrast magnetic resonance imaging (DSC-MRI) in 29 interictal female migraineurs (12 migraine with aura (MA), 17 migraine without aura (MO)), and 16 female controls. Perfusion maps were compared between these groups with a voxelwise (p < 0.001, uncorrected, minimum cluster size 20 voxels) and a region-of-interest approach. RESULTS: In whole brain voxelwise analyses interictal hyperperfusion was observed in the left medial frontal gyrus in migraineurs and in the inferior and middle temporal gyrus in MO patients, in comparison with controls. Hypoperfusion was seen in the postcentral gyrus and in the inferior temporal gyrus in MA patients and in the inferior frontal gyrus in MO patients. Additional focal sites of hyperperfusion were noted in subgroups based on attack frequency and disease history. Region-of-interest analyses of the pons, hypothalamus, occipital lobe, and cerebellum did not show interictal perfusion differences between migraineurs and controls. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that interictal migraine is characterized by discrete areas of hyper- and hypoperfusion unspecific for migraine pathophysiology and not explaining the increased vulnerability of particular brain regions for cerebrovascular damage.