Functional Neuroimaging Biomarkers in Migraine: Diagnostic, Prognostic and Therapeutic Implications

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Author(s): Antonio Russo*, Marcello Silvestro, Alessandro Tessitore, Gioacchino Tedeschi.

Journal Name: Current Medicinal Chemistry

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Introduction: In current migraine clinical practice, conventional neuroimaging examinations are often sought to exclude possible causes of secondary headaches or migraineassociated disorders. Contrariwise, although advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has improved tremendously our understanding of human brain processes in migraine patients, to the state of the art they have not superseded the conventional neuroimaging techniques in the migraine clinical setting.

Methods: A comprehensive review was conducted of PubMed citations by entering the keyword "marker" AND/OR "biomarker" combined with "migraine" AND/OR "headache." Other keywords included "imaging” OR “neuroimaging", "structural" OR "functional". The only restriction was English-language publication. The abstracts of all articles meeting these criteria were reviewed, and the full text was retrieved and examined for relevant references.

Results: Several authors tried to identify imaging biomarkers able to identify different migraine phenotypes or, even better, to follow-up the same migraine patients during the course of the disease, to predict the evolution into more severe phenotypes and, finally, the response to specific treatment.

Conclusion: The identification of diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic advanced neuroimaging biomarkers in the migraine clinical setting, in order to approach to patients in a more and more rational and “tailored” way, is extremely intriguing and futuristic. Unfortunately, reliable and robust neuroimaging biomarkers are still lacking for migraine, probably due to both not completely understood pathogenesis and clinical and neuroimaging heterogeneity. Although further longitudinal advanced neuroimaging studies, aimed to identify effective neuroimaging biomarkers, are needed, this review aims to collect the main and most recent works on this topic.

Keywords: migraine, biomarkers, fMRI, diagnosis, prognosis, therapy.

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(E-pub Ahead of Print)
DOI: 10.2174/0929867325666180406115427
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