During a migraine, trigeminal (the largest cranial nerve) activation leads to a release of a nueropeptide called CGRP. The release of this nueropeptide leads to peripheral inflammatory and vasodilatory responses that trigger nuerons involved in pain transmission. These events cause the stereotypical throbbing pain experienced during a migraine. I don't know if you read my post about estrogen and migraine. In it I mention the nueropeptide, CGRP which is released with a drop in serotonin causing vasodilation. A new study showed levels of CGRP are elevated in the peripheral blood of women with chronic migraine. These elevated levels were found in the absence of both migraine attacks and medication.
For this study they were able to round up 103 chronic migraine sufferers (women with 15 or more headache days a month for at least 3 months). The control groups were 43 matched women with episodic migraine, and 31 matched healthy women without a headache history, along with a series of patients with 14 episodic cluster headache matched for age in a pain-free period. They drew blood on migraine-free days where no symptomatic medication was taken the day before the blood draw. Patients were allowed to take daily preventive medication.
The study authors concluded that elevated levels of CGRP in the absence of a migraine could be a biomarker for patients with Chronic Migraine.
So what does that mean to the chronic migrainuer? Maybe your illness will no longer be invisible. There will be scientific proof that your throbbing pain does exist and it is real. CGRP levels could be drawn to confirm the diagnosis of chronic migraine. It also makes me wonder if treatment research will be aimed at decreasing CGRP as therapy for the migrainuer.