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Cephalalgia. 2007 Aug;27(8):981-7.

Migraine and ischaemic heart disease and stroke: potential mechanisms and treatment implications.

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Department of Neurology, The University of Toledo-Health Science Campus, Toledo, OH 43614, USA.


The migraine-ischemia relationship is best understood in the context of the pathophysiology of migraine. Potential mechanisms of migrainous infarction (stroke occurring during migraine) include vasospasm, hypercoagulability, and vascular changes related to cortical spreading depression. Stroke occurring remote for the migraine attack may be related to arterial dissection, cardioembolism, and endothelial dysfunction. Endothelial dysfunction, a process mediated by oxidative stress, may be a cause or a consequence of migraine, and explain the relationship of migraine to vascular factors and ischemic heart disease. It remains uncertain whether stroke or myocardial infarction can be prevented by migraine prophylaxis, endothelial repair, platelet inhibition, or a combination of these strategies. Although triptans are generally considered safe for use in migraine, caution is warranted in those with multiple vascular risk factors. Known vascular disease is a contraindication to triptan use.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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