Category Archives: Serotonin

A Single Nerve Block May Result in Reduced Migraine Days and Increased Serotonin

Dear Pain Matters blog readers,

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INTRODUCTION

Here is some good news for migraine sufferers:

single nerve block called a Greater Occipital Nerve Block (GON block) may lead to reduced migraine days and increased serotonin!

DETAILS OF MIGRAINE STUDY

Specifically, an Italian study involving 17 migraine patients and 19 healthy controls found that a single Greater Occipital Nerve Block (GON block) significantly reduced the total number of migraine days per month by 35%.

The GON block offered the biggest migraine relief in 11 of 12 patients who also endured Medical Overuse Headache (MOH).  Medical Overuse Headache results from medication overuse.

Once the GON block’s effects wore off, episodic migraine returned in 8 of 17 patients.

It is thought that serotonin deficiency may contribute to migraines.

Thus, it is likely that enhanced serotonin release and increased central serotonergic tone resulted in migraineurs who enjoyed fewer migraine days following a single GON block.

The slope of the intensity dependence of auditory evoked potentials (IDAP) was significantly flatter in those patients who benefited from the GON block.  Decreased IDAP values are linked with stronger central serotonergic tone.

A flatter IDAP slope as well as migraine relief offered by a single GON block are suggestive of changes in the brain (i.e. plastic brain changes, neuroplasticity) (Viganò et al, 2018).

SUMMARY

Migraineurs may benefit from a GON block.

Given that a single GON block led to 35% fewer migraine days per month and given that increased serotonin occurred (as indicated by a flatter IDAP slope), migraines may be (partly or fully) centrally mediated in the brain by serotonergic mechanisms.  Finally, these mechanisms may be modulated by a GON block.

A flatter IDAP slope as well as migraine relief offered by a single GON block are suggestive of changes in the brain (i.e. plastic brain changes, neuroplasticity) (Viganò et al, 2018).

All this is good news for migraine sufferers!

Sabina Walker

Blogger, Pain Matters (in WordPress)

REFERENCE

Viganò et al. Neurophysiological correlates of clinical improvement after greater occipital nerve (GON) block in chronic migraine: relevance for chronic migraine pathophysiology. The Journal of Headache and Pain (Dec 2018). 19: 73: pages 1-9.

https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1186%2Fs10194-018-0901-z.pdf

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