The understanding of migraine pathophysiology is advancing rapidly. Improved characterisation and diagnosis of its clinical features have led to the view of migraine as a complex, variable disorder of nervous system function rather than simply a vascular headache. Recent studies have provided important new insights into its genetic causes, anatomical and physiological features, and pharmacological mechanisms. The identification of new migraine-associated genes, the visualisation of brain regions that are activated at the earliest stages of a migraine attack, a greater appreciation of the potential role of the cervical nerves, and the recognition of the crucial role for neuropeptides are among the advances that have led to novel targets for migraine therapy. Future management of migraine will have the capacity to tailor treatments based on the distinct mechanisms of migraine that affect individual patients.
Lancet Neurology 2017