What is the role of endothelial dysfunction in the pathogenesis of migraine headache?

Updated: Oct 21, 2019
  • Author: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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Answer

Vascular smooth muscle cell dysfunction may involve impaired cyclic guanosine monophosphate and hemodynamic response to nitric oxide. [24] Nitric oxide released by microglia is a potentially cytotoxic proinflammatory mediator, initiating and maintaining brain inflammation through activation of the trigeminal neuron system.

Nitric oxide levels continue to be increased even in the headache-free period in migraineurs. [25] In premenopausal women with migraine, particularly in those with migraine aura, increased endothelial activation, which is a component of endothelial dysfunction, is evident. [26]


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