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Migraine neurobiology linked to prevalence in females

Finding may explain why the headache is more common in women

Society for Neuroscience

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IMAGE: Figure 1. Dural administration of CGRP produces facial hypersensitivity and priming in female but not in male rats. view more 

Credit: Avona et al., JNeurosci (2019)

Low doses of a peptide known for decades to be involved in migraine trigger pain responses in female but not male rodents, according to a new research published in JNeurosci. This finding may help explain why migraine is more common in women than men.

Despite its well-established role in migraine, it is unclear where in the body calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) contributes to the headache. Whether sex differences exist in the neurobiology of this female-biased disorder is also unknown because previous investigations of CGRP and migraine have typically only used male animals.

Gregory Dussor and colleagues at the University of Texas at Dallas and the UT Health Science Center addressed these gaps by studying rat and mouse migraine models that include animals of both sexes. The researchers found injecting low doses of CGRP into the dura mater - the protective outer layer between the skull and the brain - produced headache symptoms only in females. They observed a similar effect when CGRP was injected into the female animals' paw.

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Manuscript title: Dural calcitonin gene-related peptide produces female-specific responses in rodent migraine models

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About JNeurosci

JNeurosci, the Society for Neuroscience's first journal, was launched in 1981 as a means to communicate the findings of the highest quality neuroscience research to the growing field. Today, the journal remains committed to publishing cutting-edge neuroscience that will have an immediate and lasting scientific impact, while responding to authors' changing publishing needs, representing breadth of the field and diversity in authorship.

About The Society for Neuroscience

The Society for Neuroscience is the world's largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system. The nonprofit organization, founded in 1969, now has nearly 37,000 members in more than 90 countries and over 130 chapters worldwide.

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