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Handb Clin Neurol. 2013;116:585-98. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-53497-2.00047-4.

Brain stimulation in migraine.

Author information

1
Department of Experimental Biomedicine and Clinical Neuroscience, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy. Electronic address: filippobrighina@gmail.com.

Abstract

Migraine is a very prevalent disease with great individual disability and socioeconomic burden. Despite intensive research effort in recent years, the etiopathogenesis of the disease remains to be elucidated. Recently, much importance has been given to mechanisms underlying the cortical excitability that has been suggested to be dysfunctional in migraine. In recent years, noninvasive brain stimulation techniques based on magnetic fields (transcranial magnetic stimulation, TMS) and on direct electrical currents (transcranial direct current stimulation, tDCS) have been shown to be safe and effective tools to explore the issue of cortical excitability, activation, and plasticity in migraine. Moreover, TMS, repetitive TMS (rTMS), and tDCS, thanks to their ability to interfere with and/or modulate cortical activity inducing plastic, persistent effects, have been also explored as potential therapeutic approaches, opening an interesting perspective for noninvasive neurostimulation for both symptomatic and preventive treatment of migraine and other types of headache. In this chapter we critically review evidence regarding the role of noninvasive brain stimulation in the pathophysiology and treatment of migraine, delineating the advantages and limits of these techniques together with potential development and future application.

KEYWORDS:

TMS; aura; cortical excitability; homeostatic plasticity; migraine; noninvasive brain stimulation; rTMS; tDCS

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