Brain Metabolism and Structure in Chronic Migraine

Kuan Lin Lai, David M. Niddam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: The purpose of this paper is to review and synthesize current literature in which neurochemical and structural brain imaging were used to investigate chronic migraine (CM) pathophysiology and to further discuss the clinical implications. Recent Findings: Spectroscopic and structural MRI studies have shown the presence of both impaired metabolism and structural alterations in the brain of CM patients. Metabolic changes in key brain regions support the notion of altered energetics and homeostasis as part of CM pathophysiology. Furthermore, CM, like other chronic pain disorders, may undergo structural reorganization in pain-related brain regions following near persistent endogenous painful input. Finally, both imaging techniques may provide potential biomarkers of disease state and progression and may help guide novel therapeutic interventions or strategies. Summary: Spectroscopic and structural MRI have revealed novel aspects of CM pathophysiology. Findings from the former support the metabolic theory of migraine pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number69
JournalCurrent Pain and Headache Reports
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2020


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