Experimental headache in humans

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

The need for valid human experimental models of headache is obvious. Several compounds have been proposed as headache-inducing agents, but only the nitroglycerin (NTG) model has been validated. In healthy subjects, intravenous infusions of the nitric oxide (NO) donor NTG induce a dose-dependent headache and dilatation of the temporal, radial and middle cerebral artery. NTG-induced headache, although less intense, resembles migraine in pain characteristics, but the accompanying symptoms are rarely present. Cephalic large arteries are dilated during migraine headache as well as during NTG headache. N-acetylcysteine enhances the formation of NO and potentiates NTG-induced headache, whereas mepyramine, a H1-antagonist capable of blocking histamine-induced headache, has no effect. Thus, the headache is dependent on NO or other steps in the NO cascade. The model is useful for pharmacological interventions and sumatriptan reduced the NTG-induced headache. The NTG model may be a valuable tool in the development of future migraine drugs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCephalalgia : an international journal of headache
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)281-7
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 1995

    Research areas

  • Cerebrovascular Circulation, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Headache, Hemodynamics, Humans, Models, Neurological, Nitroglycerin

ID: 128984198