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    Migraine is the sixth most common cause of disability in the world. Preventive migraine treatment is used to reduce frequency, severity and duration of attacks and therefore lightens the burden on the patients' quality of life and reduces disability. Topiramate is one of the preventive migraine treatments of proven efficacy. The mechanism of action underlying the preventive effect of topiramate in migraine remains largely unknown. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) we examined the central effects of a single dose of topiramate (100mg) on trigeminal pain in humans, compared to placebo (mannitol). In this prospective, within subject, randomized, placebo-controlled and double-blind study, 23 healthy participants received a standardized nociceptive trigeminal stimulation and control stimuli whilst being in the scanner. No differences in the subjective intensity ratings of the painful stimuli were observed between topiramate and placebo sessions. In contrast, topiramate significantly decreased the activity in the thalamus and other pain processing areas. Additionally, topiramate increased functional coupling between the thalamus and several brain regions such as the bilateral precuneus, posterior cingulate cortex and secondary somatosensory cortex. These data suggest that topiramate exhibits modulating effects on nociceptive processing in thalamo-cortical networks during trigeminal pain and that the preventive effect of topiramate on frequent migraine is probably mediated by an effect on thalamo-cortical networks.


    Julia M Hebestreit, Arne May. Topiramate modulates trigeminal pain processing in thalamo-cortical networks in humans after single dose administration. PloS one. 2017;12(10):e0184406

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    PMID: 28991914

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