Compared to peripheral pain, trigeminal pain elicits higher levels of fear, which is assumed to enhance the interruptive effects of pain on concomitant cognitive processes. In this fMRI study we examined the behavioral and neural effects of trigeminal (forehead) and peripheral (hand) pain on visual processing and memory encoding.
A recent study, using laboratory mice, discovered a physical link within the brain that may explain why headaches are more severe than pain we experience in other parts of the body. Pain perception involves both the physical sensation of pain and the emotional response to that pain. There are physical structures within the brain that regulate both, but until now, a direct link between the two had only been hypothesized.
Headache is one of the most common ailments; migraine is one of the most prevalent and disabling neurological disorders and cluster headache presents as one of the most excruciating pain disorders. Both are complex disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of headache. A key feature is that various triggers can set off an attack providing the opportunity to explore disease mechanisms by experimentally inducing attacks. This review summarizes neuroimaging and hemodynamic studies in human in provoked and spontaneous attacks of migraine and cluster headache.
Cluster headache is a disorder characterized by intermittent, severe unilateral head pain accompanied by cranial autonomic symptoms. Most cases of CH are episodic, manifesting as “in-bout” periods of frequent headache separated by month-to-year-long “out-of-bout” periods of remission. Previous imaging studies have implicated the hypothalamus and pain matrix in the pathogenesis of episodic CH. However, the pathophysiology driving the transition between in- and out-of-bout periods remains unclear.