The Biology of the Glutamatergic System and Potential Role in Migraine
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Migraine is a common genetically linked neurovascular disorder. Approximately ~12% of the Caucasian population are affected including 18% of adult women and 6% of adult men (1, 2). A notable female bias is observed in migraine prevalence studies with females affected ~3 times more than males and is credited to differences in hormone levels arising from reproductive achievements. Migraine is extremely debilitating with wide-ranging socioeconomic impact significantly affecting people's health and quality of life. A number of neurotransmitter systems have been implicated in migraine, the most studied include the serotonergic and dopaminergic systems. Extensive genetic research has been carried out to identify genetic variants that may alter the activity of a number of genes involved in synthesis and transport of neurotransmitters of these systems. The biology of the Glutamatergic system in migraine is the least studied however there is mounting evidence that its constituents could contribute to migraine. The discovery of antagonists that selectively block glutamate receptors has enabled studies on the physiologic role of glutamate, on one hand, and opened new perspectives pertaining to the potential therapeutic applications of glutamate receptor antagonists in diverse neurologic diseases. In this brief review, we discuss the biology of the Glutamatergic system in migraine outlining recent findings that support a role for altered Glutamatergic neurotransmission from biochemical and genetic studies in the manifestation of migraine and the implications of this on migraine treatment.
International journal of Biomedical science
© 2013 C. F. Gasparini et al;. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Biochemistry and Cell Biology not elsewhere classified