Animal Models of Chronic Migraine

Tse Ming Chou, Shih Pin Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Chronic migraine (CM) is a recalcitrant subtype of migraine which causes high degrees of disability, poor treatment responses, and frequent recurrences in sufferers. However, the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the development and chronification of migraine attacks remain incompletely understood. A validated animal model could help to decipher the pathogenic mechanism of the disease, facilitating the development of possible therapeutic strategies for CM. In this review, we aimed to summarize current animal models of CM and discuss the validity of these models. Recent Findings: Several methods have been available to induce recurrent headache-like behaviors or biochemical changes in rodents, including repeated dural application of inflammatory soup, chronic systemic infusion of nitroglycerin, repeated administration of acute migraine abortive treatment to simulate medication overuse headache, or genetic modification. These models exhibit some features that are believed to be associated with migraine; however, none of the model can recapitulate all the clinical phenotypes found in humans and each has its own weakness. Summary: The complex features of CM increase the difficulty of constructing a proper animal model. Nonetheless, currently available models are valid to certain degrees. Future directions might consider simulating the spontaneity and chronicity of migraine by combining known genetic substrates and allostatic loads into the same model.

Original languageEnglish
Article number44
JournalCurrent Pain and Headache Reports
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • Chronic migraine
  • Cortical spreading depression
  • Medication overuse headache
  • Sensitization
  • Trigeminovascular system


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