Functional neuroimaging of primary headache disorders

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Until recently, primary headache disorders, such as migraine and cluster headache were considered to be vascular in origin. However, advances in neuroimaging techniques, such as positron emission tomography, single photon emission computed tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging have augmented the growing clinical evidence that these headaches are primarily driven from the brain. This review covers functional imaging studies in migraine, cluster headache, rarer headache syndromes and experimental head pain. Together with newer techniques, such as voxel-based morphometry and magnetic resonance spectrometry, functional imaging continues to play a role in elucidating and targeting the neural substrates in each of the primary headache syndromes.

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