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Abstract

Migraines are a type of headache that specifically act on only one side of the head, although about 30% of patients with migraines may experience a bilateral headache. Migraines are brain disorders that typically involve issues of sensory processing taking place in the brainstem. Possible causation has been linked to blood vessels, blood flow, and oxygen levels in the brain. Migraines can be described in three phases, all of which have a common neuropeptide known as the calcitonin gene related peptide (CGRP). CGRP increases in plasma have been linked to migraine headaches, and specific treatment plans have been tailored to account for this. CGRP is a vasodilator that causes dilation of cranial blood vessels and can lead to possible neurogenic inflammation in the periphery of its release while activating the pain pathway in the brainstem. The primary treatment for migraines is currently drugs from the triptan family and NSAIDs, as well as prophylactic drugs including antiepileptic drugs, beta-blockers, and Ca2+ channel blockers. This literature review will expand on this information regarding migraines, specifically discussing the pathophysiology, treatment, and CGRP relation to migraines through a summary of the compilation of various studies conducted. Through this literature review, it will then become apparent as to what research should be conducted to further the field of study on migraines based on what related topics have not been currently explored in depth in other studies.

KEYWORDS: Migraine, Migraine Onset, CGRP, Nerve Fiber Vasodilation, Migraine Treatment Plan, Inflammation

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