Overuse of paracetamol caffeine aspirin powders affects cerebral glucose metabolism in chronic migraine patients

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Background and purpose

Overuse of analgesic plays a prominent role in migraine chronification. Paracetamol caffeine aspirin (PCA) powders are commonly used in Chinese migraineurs. This study investigated the effects of the specific combination analgesic on cerebral glucose metabolism in chronic migraine (CM).


18F-FDG-PET was used to measure regional metabolism in all subjects. Brain metabolisms of CM patients with analgesic overuse (AO-CM;n = 10), no analgesic overuse (NAO-CM;n = 10), and no regimen (NR-CM;n = 10) and 17 age- and gender-matched normal controls (NC) were compared using statistical parametric mapping. Then, all patients underwent brain MRI analysis within 7 days after PET scans, as well as MMSE and MoCA scale for cognitive function tests.


Glucose metabolic changes in CM patients taking different dosage of analgesic during headache-free periods and clear distinctions in several brain regions were observed. Patients with AO-CM exhibited significant metabolic reductions in thalamus, as well as increased metabolism in middle temporal gyrus and insula relative to NR-CM and NAO-CM. However, in these regions, no difference was observed in AO-CM except for increased metabolism in the right insula relative to NC group.


Overusing PCA powders affects regional brain glucose metabolism in CM. Increased metabolism in the right insula may be associated with recurrently overusing of PCA powders.

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