In vitro studies have contributed to the characterization of receptors in cranial blood vessels and the identification of new possible anti-migraine agents. In vivo animal models enable the study of vascular responses, neurogenic inflammation, peptide release and genetic predisposition and thus have provided leads in the search for migraine mechanisms. All animal-based results must, however, be validated in human studies because so far no animal models can predict the efficacy of new therapies for migraine. Given the nature of migraine attacks, fully reversible and treatable, the headache- or migraine-provoking property of naturally occurring signaling molecules can be tested in a human model. If such an endogenous substance can provoke migraine in human patients, then it is likely, although not certain, that blocking its effect will be effective in the treatment of acute migraine attacks. To this end, a human in vivo model of experimental headache and migraine in humans has been developed. Human models of migraine offer unique possibilities to study mechanisms responsible for migraine and to explore the mechanisms of action of existing and future anti-migraine drugs. The human model has played an important role in translational migraine research leading to the identification of three new principally different targets in the treatment of acute migraine attacks and has been used to examine other endogenous signaling molecules as well as genetic susceptibility factors. New additions to the model, such as advanced neuroimaging, may lead to a better understanding of the complex events that constitute a migraine attack, and better and more targeted ways of intervention.
Cephalalgia, 2013, Vol 33, Issue 8, p. 540-53
Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review