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Ann Clin Transl Neurol. 2014 Jun 1;1(6):439-444.

Association of μ-Opioid Activation in the Prefrontal Cortex with Spontaneous Migraine Attacks - Brief Report I.

Author information

1
Headache and Orofacial Pain Effort (HOPE), Biologic and Materials Sciences Department, School of Dentistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States ; Michigan Center for Oral Health Research (MCOHR), School of Dentistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States ; Translational Neuroimaging Laboratory, Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute (MBNI), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States.
2
Headache and Orofacial Pain Effort (HOPE), Biologic and Materials Sciences Department, School of Dentistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States.
3
3DLab, University of Michigan.
4
Translational Neuroimaging Laboratory, Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute (MBNI), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States.
5
Headache and Orofacial Pain Effort (HOPE), Biologic and Materials Sciences Department, School of Dentistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States ; Translational Neuroimaging Laboratory, Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute (MBNI), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States.
6
PET Physics Section, Division of Nuclear Medicine, Radiology Department, University of Michigan.
7
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Michigan.

Abstract

We evaluated in vivo the μ-opioid system during spontaneous episodic migraine headaches. Seven patients were scanned at different phases of their migraine using Positron Emission Tomography with the selective μ-opioid receptor (μOR) radiotracer [11C]carfentanil. In the ictal phase, there was μOR activation in the medial prefrontal cortex, which was strongly associated with the μOR availability level during the interictal phase. Furthermore, μ-opioid binding changes showed moderate negative correlation with the combined extension and severity of the attacks. These results indicate for the first time that there is high μOR activation in the migraineurs' brains during headache attacks in response to their pain.

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