Advances in migraine neuroimaging and clinical utility: from the MRI to the bedside.

Author:Russo A, Silvestro M, Tessitore A, Tedeschi G.

Presentation

In current migraine clinical practice, no specific diagnostic investigations are available and therefore the diagnosis is an eminently clinical process where instrumental examinations may have a part to exclude possible causes of secondary headaches. While migraine clinical phenotype has been widely characterized, migraine pathophysiology has still a gap that might be partly bridged by structural and functional neuroimaging investigations.

Abstract

In current migraine clinical practice, no specific diagnostic investigations are available and therefore the diagnosis is an eminently clinical process where instrumental examinations may have a part to exclude possible causes of secondary headaches. While migraine clinical phenotype has been widely characterized, migraine pathophysiology has still a gap that might be partly bridged by structural and functional neuroimaging investigations. Areas Covered: This article aims to review the recent advances in functional neuroimaging, the consequent progress in the knowledge of migraine pathophysiology and their putative application and impact in the clinical setting. A comprehensive review was conducted of PubMed citations by entering the key word "MRI" combined with "migraine" AND/OR "headache." Other key words included "grey matter" OR "white matter", "structural" OR "functional". The only restriction was English-language publication. The abstracts of all articles meeting these criteria were reviewed, and full texts were examined for relevant references. Expert Commentary: Advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques are tremendously improving our knowledge about brain abnormalities in migraine patients. However, advanced MRI could nowadays overcomes the limits linked to the clinicians' judgment through the identification of objectively measurable neuroimaging findings (quantitative biomarkers) concerning the diagnosis, the prognosis and "tailored" therapeutic-care pathways.

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