Thalamocortical network interruption: A fresh view for migraine symptoms


Abstract: Migraine is a multifaceted brain disorder where multisensory disturbances are associated with headache. Yet sensory symptoms are conventionally justified by dysfunctions confined to the cerebral cortex, a perspective through the complex interplay of thalamocortical network would provide the entire picture, more pertinent to the central sensory processing. It is important to consider thalamus as a hub that integrates multiple domains via extensive connections among anatomically and functionally separate cortical areas. Accordingly, cortical spreading depression (CSD), implicated in migraine pathophysiology can be seen as a tool to disconnect thalamocortical network by functionally eliminating cerebral cortex. Hence, including thalamic reticular nucleus and higher order thalamic nuclei, which conveys the information transthalamically among visual, somatosensory, language and motor cortical areas, would greatly improve our current understanding of migraine.

Keywords: Migraine, headache, sensory discrimination, thalamocortical network, sensory integration, CSD

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