The Thalamus and Migraine at AHS

Yesterday, The 53rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society started.  The day went great.  The afternoon talks focused on the role of the thalamus (an area of the brain) in migraine.  It was a fascinating afternoon.  The thalamus is an area of the brain that you might think of as a relay center and an area where inputs from all other areas of the brain come together and get directed to the right place.  Already we have discovered pathways whereby light can modulate migraine pain, through the thalamus.  It is also believed that persistent pain arising from discrete episodes of pain is a transition modulated by the thalamus.  That is, episodic migraine (<15 days per month) into chronic migraine (15 or more days per month)?  It is an area where the information taken from one area of the nervous system can affect all others, changing perception, changing pain states, and many other things.  Certain medications that we use in migraine have been shown to modify the firing of neurons in the thalamus, in the areas where pain is modulated.  Very very exciting indeed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>