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The Platelet And The Neuron: Two Cells In Focus In Migraine

Rigmor Malmgren, Lena Hasselmark

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Reports of platelet abnormalities in migraine are abundant, and the present paper discusses the role of platelets in the migraine aetiology. Platelets are considered good models for pre-and post-synaptic functions in serotonergic neurons. We propose that migraine is associated with a lowered threshold for stimulus response in both platelets and serotonergic neurons and that the alterations in platelet function reflect central serotonergic disturbances. The platelet abnormalities in migraine approach those found in depression, and there are several links between the two disorders. The clinical significance of platelet hyperactivity in migraineurs for the occurrence of thrombotic disorders is also discussed. Studies of platelet functions in migraine, using platelets as models for serotonergic neurons, may broaden our understanding of the neuronal processes that take place during a migraine attack. The platelet can also be an investigative tool for better understanding of the modes of action of anti-migraine drugs.