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Biological correlates of migraine and cluster headaches: an overview of their potential use in diagnosis and treatment

Authors Aron D Mosnaim, Javier Puente, Marion E Wolf

Published 6 December 2010 Volume 2010:1 Pages 25—32

DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/POR.S13363

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Aron D Mosnaim1, Javier Puente1,2, Marion E Wolf3
1Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, Rosalind Franklin University, Chicago Medical School, Chicago, IL, USA; 2Faculty of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile; 3International Neuropsychiatry Consultants, Highland Park, IL, USA

Abstract: Current diagnostic criteria for headaches are based on the International Classification for Headache Disorders, second edition, which is largely built on data obtained from clinical examinations and patients' medical histories. Despite decades of vigorous basic and clinical research, we still lack reliable clinical laboratory diagnostic markers for headaches, which clearly obstructs the physician's ability to optimize and follow the patient's response to treatment protocols as well as holds back the discovery and implementation of new therapeutic modalities. In this paper, we review and discuss current efforts to identify and characterize biochemical and immunological changes in biological fluids and tissue that may be specifically associated with the etiology and/or pathophysiology of migraine and cluster headaches; we also discuss some of the recent genetic findings and ion channel modulation studies that may help to distinguish among various headache populations.

Keywords: biochemical, immunological, genetic alterations, pain, enkephalin degradation kinetics, enkephalin aminopeptidase

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