[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Migraine pain is often preceded, accompanied and followed by dopaminergic symptoms (premonitory yawning and somnolence, accompanying nausea and vomiting, postdromal somnolence, euphoria and polyuria). After reviewing evidence from pharmacological, biochemical, genetic and animal experimental studies on the relationship between dopamine and migraine, and matching these data with patients' clinical features, we postulate that migraine attacks could be characterized by an ictal dopamine release in a subject with dopamine receptor hypersensitivity due to a chronic dopaminergic deficit synergistic to serotoninergic impairment. Our review suggests that when the attack begins, a low dopamine plasma concentration stimulates hypersensitive central presynaptic dopamine receptors thus causing prodromal symptoms such as yawning and somnolence. Increasing dopamine levels, though still insufficient to stop trigeminovascular activation, stimulate postsynaptic dopamine receptors thus inducing nausea, vomiting and hypotension. Finally, dopamine levels slowly return to baseline, giving rise to somnolence and fatigue, but, in some cases, continue to rise triggering postdromal symptoms such as euphoria and polyuria.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prion protein, a sialoglycoprotein with neuroprotective properties on oxidative stress damage, has been related with the mechanisms leading to migraine. In the present case-control study, we investigated the correlation between the common methionine/valine polymorphism at codon 129 within the prion protein gene (PRNP) and migraine. Genotyping of PRNP V129M variant was performed in 384 migraine patients and 185 age-, sex-, and race-ethnicity-matched healthy controls. The frequencies of the PRNP V129M genotype did not differ significantly between migraineurs and controls. The frequencies of 129VV genotype were significantly higher in patients with earlier age at migraine onset. No correlation was found between PRNP 129 genotype and demographics, and other clinical migraine features. Our data suggest that the PRNP 129VV polymorphism is not a direct migraine risk factor but is significantly associated with an earlier onset of the disease.
Headache The Journal of Head and Face Pain 02/2013; · 2.94 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The development of Biobanks and recent advances in molecular biology have enhanced the possibility to accelerate translational research studies. The Interinstitutional Multidisciplinary BioBank (BioBIM) is organized in a large healthy donors collection and pathology-based biobanks with the aim to provide a service for development of interdisciplinary studies. A new pathology-based biobank has been organized to specifically collect biospecimen from patients affected by migraine, with the final goal to centralize data, collect blood, plasma, serum, DNA and RNA of patients with this disease. The BioBIM is fully equipped for the automation of sampling/processing, storage and tracking of biospecimens. Standard Operating Procedures have been developed for processing and storage phases as well as archive of clinical data. The availability of biospecimens and clinical data will constitute a resource for various research projects.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Excessive daytime sleepiness is a major clinical and health concern that can have varied and sometimes harmful consequences. Findings from uncontrolled studies suggest a high prevalence in patients with chronic migraine. METHODS: In a case-control study, we compared frequency data for excessive daytime sleepiness in 100 patients with chronic migraine and 100 healthy controls paired for sex and age, and assessed risk factors including lifestyle, sleep quality, anxiety, depression, concomitant disease and medications. RESULTS: The frequency of excessive daytime sleepiness was higher in migraineurs (especially in those with medication overuse) than in controls (20% versus 6%; odds ratio 3.92, 95% CI 1.5-10.22), but was lower than previously reported and correlated with poor quality sleep and anxiolytic and antidepressant use. CONCLUSIONS: Again confirming that disability in chronic migraine is multifactorial in origin, excessive daytime sleepiness, especially in migraineurs who overuse medications, adds to the multiple factors known to impair social and working function. Patients with chronic migraine might benefit from diagnostic interviews focussing also on sleep problems and from targeted psychoactive drug prescribing.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective.- To clarify the frequency and characteristics of altered transverse sinus morphology in a series of consecutive patients with chronic migraine. Background.- As terminology, neuroradiological techniques and patient selection differ widely across various studies, reliable, reproducible information is lacking on the frequency of cerebral transverse sinus asymmetry as measured by cerebral magnetic resonance venography in patients with chronic migraine. Methods.- We assessed the frequency and characteristics of transverse sinus asymmetries and their correlation with the chronic migraine phenotype in a blind, cross-sectional magnetic resonance venographic study in a series of 83 consecutive patients with chronic migraine. Results.- After excluding mild (≤10%) physiological differences in transverse sinus diameter, we found magnetic resonance venographic evidence of altered transverse sinus morphology in 50.6% of the patients: 16.9% had moderate transverse sinus asymmetry (≤50%), 24.1% severe asymmetry (>50%), and 9.6% aplasia. Among the tested risk factors for migraine chronification, analgesic consumption, anxiety, and high systolic blood pressure were more frequent in patients with transverse sinus aplasia than in those without. Conclusions.- Advanced magnetic resonance venographic techniques used in strictly selected subjects disclose transverse sinus asymmetries in as many as 50.6% of patients with chronic migraine, even when mild differences in physiological caliber are excluded. The unexpected correlation between transverse sinus aplasia and some risk factors for migraine chronification requires confirmation in larger studies.
Headache The Journal of Head and Face Pain 05/2012; 52(8):1254-61. · 2.94 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Migraine prevention hinges on a variety of non-specific drugs that mainly reduce neuronal hyperexcitability, the putative pathophysiological hallmark for migraine. The improved knowledge about migraine circuitry and neurobiology has prompted research to develop new specific migraine preventive medications targeted to innovative sites and mechanisms. Drugs designed to inhibit cortical spreading depression, for example tonabersat, might offer a useful option for the management of migraine with aura but not for migraine without aura. Inducible nitric-oxide synthase (iNOS) inhibition seems ineffective as a prophylactic strategy. Results are awaited from recent and ongoing phase II trials with glutamate receptor antagonists, third-generation antiepileptics, melatonin agonists, vitamin D3 and statins.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective and background is to confirm in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study the high triptan response rates we had previously reported in an open study in migraine patients with unilateral cranial autonomic symptoms. In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study 80 migraineurs with unilateral cranial autonomic symptoms were assigned to receive rizatriptan 10 mg wafer or placebo (ratio 1:1) and treated for a single moderate or severe migraine attack. The primary endpoints were pain freedom at 2 h and total migraine freedom at 2 h. Secondary endpoints included pain relief, no associated symptoms and sustained pain freedom or relief. Significantly more patients reported pain freedom at 2 h after taking rizatriptan (54 %) than after placebo (8 %) (therapeutic gain 46 % [28 %; 64 %]; P < 0.001). Similarly, significantly more patients reported total migraine freedom at 2 h after rizatriptan (51 %) than after placebo (8 %) (therapeutic gain 43 % [26 %; 61 %]; P < 0.001). Rizatriptan was also more effective than placebo on most secondary endpoints. We confirm in a placebo-controlled study our previous data suggesting that the presence of unilateral cranial autonomic symptoms in migraineurs predicts a positive response to triptans, probably owing to intense trigeminal peripheral afferent activation which strongly recruits peripheral neurovascular 5-HT1B/1D receptors. Acute and preventive pharmacological trials in migraine should focus also on this subset of migraine patients.
The Journal of Headache and Pain 03/2012; 13(5):407-14. · 2.78 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A wide array of options are now available for migraine prophylaxis. Conventional treatments include beta-blockers, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, calcium antagonists and antiserotoninergic drugs. Emerging medications such as ACE inhibitors, sartans and nutritional supplements are gaining favour for migraine prophylaxis. Botulinum toxin type A is a promising therapeutic tool for chronic migraine. Tonabersat is likely to be a step forward for the treatment of migraine with aura. However, much work is needed to identify predictive clinical features of successful responsiveness and to better define the duration of prophylaxis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Progression of episodic migraine to chronic migraine may be related to comorbid medical conditions. In this study, we focused on the role played by arterial hypertension in migraine transformation. Several studies reveal that hypertension is associated with chronic migraine and may induce migraine chronification. Hypertension probably amplifies the effects of migraine on the vascular wall further enhancing the endothelial dysfunction in cerebral vasculature. Consequently, monitoring of blood pressure is recommended in migraineurs showing an otherwise unexplained increase in attack frequency. Studies are needed to verify if prophylactic treatment with drugs improving endothelial function (e.g. calcium channel blockers, beta blockers, calcium inhibitors, ACE inhibitors and sartans) may selectively ameliorate the course of migraine in these patients.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Essential tremor (ET) and migraine headache are considered comorbid diseases on the basis of uncontrolled studies. We investigated the frequency of migraine in patients with ET by enrolling 110 patients with ET and 110 age- and sex-matched healthy controls in a case-control study. We found no significant differences in the frequency of lifetime and current migraine between patients and controls, even in patients stratified for age. Tremor had similar clinical features in patients with ET with and without migraine except that females predominated in patients with ET and migraine. Migraine also had similar characteristics in both patients with ET and migraine and in controls with migraine. Our study excludes a comorbid association between ET and migraine. When ET and migraine coexist their clinical phenotype and evolution remain almost unchanged.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To find out more about glutamatergic and gabaergic transmission in migraine, in this study we investigated glutamate-dependent short-term synaptic potentiation and GABA-dependent inhibitory cortical interneuron excitability as assessed by 5Hz-rTMS delivered over primary motor cortex (M1) (motor evoked potential, MEP, amplitude facilitation and cortical silent period, CSP, duration lengthening) in migraine patients with (MA) and without aura (MwoA) and healthy controls. We studied 37 patients with migraine (19 MA and 18 MwoA) and 19 healthy control subjects. 5Hz-rTMS was delivered at 120% resting motor threshold to the hand motor area of the left hemisphere with the target muscle at rest and during contraction. Three of the MA patients were also tested at the end of visual aura during a spontaneous migraine attack. ANOVA showed that the MEP significantly increased in size and CSP significantly lengthened during 5Hz-rTMS in the three groups tested. The 5Hz-rTMS-induced MEP facilitation differed significantly being highest in MA patients. In the three patients tested both ictally and interictally the MEP increased during the interictal session but remained unchanged when the visual aura ended. Our study shows that the neurophysiological feature that differentiates MA patients from MwoA patients and healthy controls is an abnormal M1 susceptibility to 5Hz-rTMS both outside and during the attack suggesting that glutamate-dependent short-term M1 cortical potentiation patterns differ in migraine with and without aura.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Our objective was to report the clinical characteristics and to investigate the role of SLITRK1 gene in a large Italian family with Tourette syndrome (TS). The diagnosis of TS and chronic motor tics (CMT) was made according to "The Tourette Syndrome Classification Study Group" (1993). Psychiatric diagnoses were made by administering the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM and the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale. Genetic study included direct sequencing and copy number analysis of the SLITRK1 gene, and haplotype analysis. We found tics or other behavioral manifestations in 15 subjects. Of these, 5 received a diagnosis of definite TS, 5 were classified as having definite CMT, 2 had definite nonspecific tic disorder, and 3 patients had obsessive-compulsive disorder without motor or phonic tics. Tics mainly involved the craniocervical district. Many patients with tics had coexisting psychiatric disorders, especially obsessive-compulsive disorder, performed poorly at school and had social problems. Direct sequencing and copy number analysis of the SLITRK1 gene, and haplotype analysis suggested that the SLITRK1 locus was not involved in this family. In conclusion, the distinctive clinical features in this family are the motor tics mainly involving the face and the neck and the severe coexisting psychiatric disorders. The negative results of the SLITRK1 analysis point to genetic heterogeneity in TS.
Movement Disorders 12/2007; 22(15):2229-34. · 4.56 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Migraine patients often complain of sleepiness, a problem that manifests both during and outside an attack, may impair the quality of life and can lead to potentially harmful situations. Findings from an uncontrolled study suggest that a high percentage of migraineurs experience excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS). We investigated EDS in a case-control study on 100 patients with episodic migraine and 100 age- and sex-matched healthy controls and also assessed sleep quality, anxiety and depression. Although it was found that EDS was more frequent in migraineurs than in controls (14% vs. 5%; odds ratio 3.1; 95% confidence interval 1.1-8.9), the frequency was lower than previously reported. EDS correlated with migraine disability, sleep problems and anxiety. EDS in patients with migraine probably stems from the full constellation of headache-sleep-affective symptoms resulting from the complex clinical burden of the disease.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Excessive daytime somnolence (EDS) and quality of sleep were studied in 25 parkinsonian patients at baseline, when they had not yet received any antiparkinsonian medication, and after 1 year of treatment with dopaminergic drugs. EDS was measured by the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) and sleep quality by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). At baseline, the ESS score was not different from that of age-matched healthy controls. The mean ESS score increased significantly after 1 year of follow-up, being more than 10 in 12 patients. The mean PSQI also increased significantly after 1 year of treatment, but there were no differences in the number of "bad sleepers" at baseline and at follow-up. In conclusion, EDS seems to emerge during the course of the illness, at least in a proportion of PD patients, and could represent another clinical correlate of the interaction between the ongoing neurodegenerative process and the side effects of drugs.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) in Parkinson's disease (PD) is due to either treatment-related factors or the disease itself. The study of this disturbing phenomenon in de novo parkinsonian patients may contribute to a better understanding of its pathophysiology. We conducted a case control study in which we compared 25 PD patients who had never been treated before with dopaminergic drugs (de novo PD), 50 PD patients being treated with dopaminergic drugs (treated PD), and 25 healthy control subjects, all of whom were matched for age and gender. EDS was measured by means of the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) and quality of sleep by means of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). ESS and PSQI scores were not statistically different between de novo PD patients and controls, whereas they were significantly higher in treated PD. Differences in ESS score variability were best explained by the treatment effect, whereas there was no clear correlation between PSQI and any of the clinical variables considered.
Movement Disorders 10/2002; 17(5):1026-30. · 4.56 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As cholinergic mechanisms may be at least partially responsible for hallucinations and delusions in Parkinson's disease (PD), we conducted an open study in 8 PD patients to assess the efficacy and tolerability of the cholinesterase inhibitor donepezil, 5 mg at bedtime for two months, in the treatment of these complications. Hallucinations and delusions improved significantly in all patients. Donezepil was overall well tolerated, but a deterioration in motor disability was noted in 2 out of 8 patients.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The progressive ageing of the population will produce an increase of those neuropsychiatric disturbances (late onset psychosis, behavioural disturbances of dementia, psychosis in Parkinson's disease) which may require treatment with antipsychotics. However, aged individuals are at higher risk for the development of adverse events from these drugs, namely extrapyramidal disturbances and tardive dyskinesias (TD). TD are a complex disorder, and despite much work done both in basic science and in clinical studies, many issues are still unresolved, such as risk factors, natural history and response to treatment. Although TD may be a mild disorder, it may become debilitating in a proportion of patients. As treatment is often quite disappointing, efforts are directed to its prevention. In this respect, atypical antipsychotics, with their peculiar mixed dopamine-serotonin antagonism, present a clear advantage over classic neuroleptics in young schizophrenic patients, with a lower incidence of TD during chronic treatment. Data are accumulating to show that this is likely to be true also in older patients.
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 01/2002; 16 Suppl 1:S19-23. · 2.98 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Migraine is one of the
most common neurological diseases
afflicting 12% of general population
but is poorly recognized and largely
untreated. Migraine is a disabling
disease with very high social costs
as it affects young individuals during
their productive age. Quality of life
in migraineurs is impaired.
Furthermore, the economic burden
of migraine, usually evaluated in
terms of direct and indirect costs, is
relevant and could be reduced by an
early diagnosis and an appropriate
The Journal of Headache and Pain 08/2001; 2:s15-s19. · 2.78 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of our study was to investigate the efficacy of pramipexole in advanced parkinsonian patients by means of an acute stimulation test. We studied the motor effects of pramipexole in fluctuating parkinsonian patients by comparing the response to acute levodopa with the response to levodopa + pramipexole. The adjunct of pramipexole to levodopa increased the time spent on from 136 +/- 22.3 to 186 +/- 20.6 minutes (p<0.01), while it did not change the latency to on, the magnitude of the motor improvement, or the duration and severity of dyskinesias. The main effect of pramipexole in fluctuating parkinsonian patients is an increased duration of the on phase.