Researchers found more about migraine

Scientists from the University of Michigan have found that dopamine falls and fluctuates during a migraine attack. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that regulates emotions, motivation and sensory perception. Perhaps the specialists’ discovery will lead to the development of new methods in migraine treatment, reports.

Currently, antagonists of dopamine receptors are often prescribed to patients with migraine. By blocking hyperactive dopamine receptors, they prevent dopamine fluctuations and relieve headache. The new study involved 8 patients with migraine and 8 healthy volunteers.

The scientists used positron emission tomography (PET) to observe the brain activity of participants during migraine attacks, between attacks and normal state (in the control group). The researchers have found that the levels of dopamine in participants with migraine between attacks were stable, as in healthy people. However, during the attack, the concentration of the neurotransmitter was reduced significantly.

When the volunteers rested during the attack, dopamine levels were increased slightly. Symptoms were aggravated by exposure to heat on the forehead. This phenomenon is known as allodynia – a pain caused by exposure to irritants, which usually do not cause it. According to the scientists, a decrease in the level of dopamine may be caused by an attempt to isolate the migraine.