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Neuroimaging Migraine Research

Todd J. Schwedt, MD MSCI
Associate Professor of Neurology
Mayo Clinic
Phoenix, Arizona, USA

fMRI of the occipital cortex in response to visual stimulation in a non-migraine control subject (upper panel) and an interictal migraine subject (lower panel). There is wider cortical activation in the migraine patient at all three light intensities.

Advanced neuroimaging technology and new analytic techniques used to investigate migraine brain structure and function have led to incremental advances in the understanding of migraine pathophysiology. Structural imaging studies published in Headache have offered insights into migraine brain regional volumes, white matter hyperintensities and integrity, transverse sinus and Circle of Willis morphology, and iron deposition in pain-regulatory nuclei. Functional studies have investigated the interictal migraine brain during the resting state and in response to external stimuli, while others have examined the migraine brain during a migraine attack. In addition, several excellent reviews of advanced neuroimaging have been published in Headache within the last several years.

Review Articles
1) Can Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging at Rest Shed Light on the Pathophysiology of Migraine?
Till Sprenger, Stefano Magon. Volume 53, Issue 5, pages 723–725, May 2013.
2) Human Studies in the Pathophysiology of Migraine: Genetics and Functional Neuroimaging
F. Michael Cutrer, Jonathan H. Smith MD. Volume 53, Issue 2, pages 401–412, February 2013.
3) Structural and Functional Neuroimaging in Migraine: Insights From 3 Decades of Research
Shaheen E. Lakhan, Mihaela Avramut, Stewart J. Tepper. Volume 53, Issue 1, pages 46–66, January 2013.
4) Brain Imaging in Migraine Research
David Borsook, Richard Hargreaves. Volume 50, Issue 9, pages 1523–1527, October 2010.
5) Functional Imaging in Primary Headache Disorders
F. Michael Cutrer. Volume 48, Issue 5, pages 704–706, May 2008.

Structural Imaging
1) Executive Dysfunctions in Migraine With and Without Aura: What Is the Role of White Matter Lesions?
Francesco Le Pira, Ester Reggio, Graziella Quattrocchi, Cristina Sanfilippo, Tiziana Maci, Tiziana Cavallaro, Mario Zappia. Early View (Online Version of Record published before inclusion in an issue)
2) Incidental White Matter Lesions in Children Presentıng With Headache
Erhan Bayram, Yasemin Topcu, Pakize Karaoglu, Uluc Yis, Handan Cakmakci Guleryuz, Semra Hiz Kurul. Volume 53, Issue 6, pages 970–976, June 2013.
3) Quantitative MRI Studies of Chronic Brain White Matter Hyperintensities in Migraine Patients
Mihály Aradi, Attila Schwarcz, Gábor Perlaki, Gergely Orsi, Norbert Kovács, Anita Trauninger, David Olayinka Kamson, Szilvia Erdélyi-Bótor, Ferenc Nagy, Szilvia Anett Nagy, Tamás Dóczi, Sámuel Komoly, Zoltán Pfund. Volume 53, Issue 5, pages 752–763, May 2013.
4) Cerebral Transverse Sinus Morphology As Detected by MR Venography in Patients With Chronic Migraine
Luisa Fofi, Elisabetta Giugni, Rita Vadalà, Nicola Vanacore, Cinzia Aurilia, Gabriella Egeo, Alberto Pierallini, Piero Barbanti. Volume 52, Issue 8, pages 1254–1261, September 2012.
5) Iron Deposition in Pain-Regulatory Nuclei in Episodic Migraine and Chronic Daily Headache by MRI
Stewart J. Tepper, Mark J. Lowe, Erik Beall, Micheal D. Phillips, Kecheng Liu, Mark J. Stillman, Mary Horvat, Stephen E. Jones. Volume 52, Issue 2, pages 236–243, February 2012.
6) A Diffusion Tensor Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study of Corpus Callosum From Adult Patients With Migraine Complicated With Depressive/Anxious Disorder
Xian L. Li, Yan N. Fang, Qing C. Gao, Er J. Lin, San H. Hu, Li Ren, Ming H. Ding, Bo N. Luo. Volume 51, Issue 2, pages 237–245, February 2011.
7) Images From Headache: White Matter Lesions of Migraine Are Not Static
Todd D. Rozen. Volume 50, Issue 2, pages 305–306, February 2010.
8) Incomplete Posterior Circle of Willis: A Risk Factor for Migraine?
Jean-Marc Bugnicourt, Pierre-Yves Garcia, Johann Peltier, Bruno Bonnaire, Candice Picard, Olivier Godefroy. Volume 49, Issue 6, pages 879–886, June 2009.
9) Attack Frequency and Disease Duration as Indicators for Brain Damage in Migraine
Nicole Schmitz, Faiza Admiraal-Behloul, Enrico B. Arkink, Mark C. Kruit, Guus G. Schoonman, Michel D. Ferrari, Mark A. Van Buchem. Volume 48, Issue 7, pages 1044–1055, July/August 2008.
10) Voxel-Based Morphometry Reveals Gray Matter Abnormalities in Migraine
Walter Valfrè, Innocenzo Rainero, Mauro Bergui, Lorenzo Pinessi. Volume 48, Issue 1, pages 109–117, January 2008.

Functional Imaging
1) Atypical Resting-State Functional Connectivity of Affective Pain Regions in Chronic Migraine 
Todd J. Schwedt MD, Bradley L. Schlaggar, Soe Mar, Tracy Nolan, Rebecca S. Coalson, Binyam Nardos, Tammie Benzinger, Linda J. Larson-Prior. Volume 53, Issue 5, pages 737–751, May 2013.
2) Higher Glutamate to Glutamine Ratios in Occipital Regions in Women With Migraine During the Interictal State 
Jesús González de la Aleja, Ana Ramos, Virginia Mato-Abad, Antonio Martínez-Salio, Juan A. Hernández-Tamames, José Antonio Molina, Jesús Hernández-Gallego, Juan Álvarez-Linera. Volume 53, Issue 2, pages 365–375, February 2013.
3) Photoreactivity of the Occipital Cortex Measured by Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging–Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent in Migraine Patients and Healthy Volunteers: Pathophysiological Implications
Helena Martín, Margarita Sánchez del Río, Carlos López de Silanes, Juan Álvarez-Linera, Juan Antonio Hernández, Juan A. Pareja. Volume 51, Issue 10, pages 1520–1528, November/December 2011.
4) Chronic Migraine With Medication Overuse Pre–Post Withdrawal of Symptomatic Medication: Clinical Results and fMRI Correlations
Licia Grazzi, Luisa Chiapparini, Stefania Ferraro, Susanna Usai, Frank Andrasik, Maria Luisa Mandelli, Maria Grazia Bruzzone, Gennaro Bussone. Volume 50, Issue 6, pages 998–1004, June 2010.
5) Resting Brain Glucose Uptake in Headache-Free Migraineurs
Mounzer Kassab, Omid Bakhtar, David Wack, Edward Bednarczyk. Volume 49, Issue 1, pages 90–97, January 2009.
6) Hypothalamic Activation in Spontaneous Migraine Attacks
Marie Denuelle, Nelly Fabre, Pierre Payoux, Francois Chollet, Gilles Geraud. Volume 47, Issue 10, pages 1418–1426, November/December 2007.
7) Brainstem Dysfunction in Chronic Migraine as Evidenced by Neurophysiological and Positron Emission Tomography Studies
Sheena K. Aurora, Patricia M. Barrodale, Reda L. Tipton, Ani Khodavirdi. Volume 47, Issue 7, pages 996–1003, July/August 2007.

Added August 2013

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