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Carbon monoxide may be an important molecule in migraine and other headaches

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INTRODUCTION: Carbon monoxide was previously considered to just be a toxic gas. A wealth of recent information has, however, shown that it is also an important endogenously produced signalling molecule involved in multiple biological processes. Endogenously produced carbon monoxide may thus play an important role in nociceptive processing and in regulation of cerebral arterial tone.

DISCUSSION: Carbon monoxide-induced headache shares many characteristics with migraine and other headaches. The mechanisms whereby carbon monoxide causes headache may include hypoxia, nitric oxide signalling and activation of cyclic guanosine monophosphate pathways. Here, we review the literature about carbon monoxide-induced headache and its possible mechanisms.

CONCLUSION: We suggest, for the first time, that carbon monoxide may play an important role in the mechanisms of migraine and other headaches.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCephalalgia : an international journal of headache
Volume34
Issue number14
Pages (from-to)1169-80
Number of pages12
ISSN0333-1024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014

ID: 45038983