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Neurology. 2006 Apr 11;66(7):1108-10.

Opioidergic changes in the pineal gland and hypothalamus in cluster headache: a ligand PET study.

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Department of Neurology, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, Germany.


Using PET with the opioidergic ligand [11C]diprenorphine, the authors demonstrate decreased tracer binding in the pineal gland of cluster headache patients vs healthy volunteers. Opioid receptor availability in the hypothalamus and cingulate cortex depended on the duration of the headache disorder. Therefore, the pathophysiology of cluster headache may relate to opioidergic dysfunction in circuitries generating the biologic clock.

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