Cortical Glutamate in Migraine

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Cortical Glutamate in Migraine
Key Take-Away: 

Migraine is a neurological disorder but its pathophysiology still remains unclear. In this research study, the role of cortical glutamate levels in pathophysiology of migraine has been determined and it has been reported that the glutamate levels in migraine without aura increases as compared to control.

Cortical hyperexcitability due to enhanced glutamatergic activity has been implicated in migraine pathophysiology but direct evidence is lacking.

ABSTRACT: 
Background: 

Cortical hyperexcitability due to enhanced glutamatergic activity has been implicated in migraine pathophysiology but direct evidence is lacking.

In this study, the glutamate levels and intracellular mobility of glutamate in the visual cortex of migraineurs in-between attacks have been assessed.

Methods: 

A total of 50 migraineurs (23 with aura and 27 without aura) and 24 age- and gender-matched non-headache controls were included. Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) and diffusion weighted spectroscopy was used at 7 T with a single volume of interest (2 × 2 × 3 cm) located in the primary and secondary visual cortex.

For 1H-MRS a semi-LASER sequence with water referencing was used for absolute quantification. For diffusion weighted spectroscopy we used an adapted PRESS sequence with gradients applied in three directions and two different gradient amplitudes. Between-group differences were evaluated using analysis of co variance with the grey matter fraction in the volume of interest as co variate and post hoc comparisons with Bonferroni correction.

Results: 

Glutamate concentrations differed between groups (P = 0.047) and were higher in migraineurs without aura (mean ± standard deviation: 7.02 ± 0.50 mM) compared to controls (mean ± standard deviation: 6.40 ± 0.78 mM, P = 0.042).

The apparent diffusion coefficient of glutamate was similar among groups (P= 0.129) suggesting similar inter- and intracellular mobility of glutamate in all three study groups. No differences were observed for concentrations and diffusion constants of other metabolites.

Conclusion: 

The present study suggests that interictal glutamate levels are increased in the visual cortex of migraineurs without aura, supporting the hypothesis of cortical hyperexcitability in migraine.

 

Source:

Brain

Link to the source:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28633367

Original title of article:

Cortical glutamate in migraine

Authors:

Ronald Zielman et al

Exploratory, Glutamate, Migraine, Head, Neurotransmitter, 1H-MRS, Diffusion Weighted Spectroscopy
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