Impact Factor 2.635 | CiteScore 2.99
More on impact ›

Mini Review ARTICLE

Front. Neurol., 06 September 2019 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2019.00961

Is There Any MRI Pattern That Discriminates Female From Male Migraine Patients?

Nasim Maleki1* and Xiao Michelle Androulakis2,3
  • 1Psychiatric Neuroimaging Division, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States
  • 2Columbia VA Health Care System, Columbia, SC, United States
  • 3Department of Neurology, School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, United States

There has been accumulating evidence on sex disparity in incidence, prevalence, symptomology, and burden of migraine. Several neuroimaging studies on migraine patients attempted to unravel the mechanisms of the disease, yet very few of them examined the sex-related differences. Here, we will first discuss some of the reported neuroimaging patterns that discriminate females from males in migraine. We will then re-examine the salient neuroimaging findings in migraine and discuss them in relation to sex-related influences. Finally, we will discuss some of the intriguing recent data suggesting the presence of sex-specific traits in migraineurs. These findings may have potential implications for future neuroimaging studies to identify underlying correlating patterns in the brain to (1) explain the neural basis for higher prevalence of migraine in women, and (2) better understand migraine-specific changes during different stages of life in both men and women.

Introduction

Despite advances in understanding of the migraine pathophysiology (1), as one of the most prevalent disabling disorders worldwide, migraine disease continues to be an unresolved major public health problem for both men and women (26). Of the 38 million migraine sufferers in the US, two-thirds are estimated to be female (7, 8) with differences in the incidence pattern appearing around puberty (9). Sex differences in migraine also extend to greater symptomology, higher rate of visual auras, higher headache-related disability, and greater healthcare resource utilization by females (10). In the past two decades, several neuroimaging studies have attempted to identify potential differences in the brains of migraineurs, however only a very limited number of studies have examined the sex-specific differences in the brains of migraineurs. In this review: (i) We will first discuss neuroimaging findings on the patterns that discriminate women from men in migraine to date; (ii) We will then re-examine some of the salient neuroimaging findings in migraine and discuss them in relation to the sex-related influences; (iii) Finally, we will discuss some of the intriguing recent findings that seem to suggest presence of sex-specific traits in migraineurs, which may have potential implications for future neuroimaging studies. These together may not only hold clues to the sex disparity in migraine, but also consequently shed more light on the mechanisms of the disease.

Neuroimaging Findings on Sex-Related Brain Differences in Migraine

There are very limited neuroimaging studies with considerably small sample sizes that have examined sex-related differences in migraine. In a study on episodic migraineurs and matched healthy control individuals, increased cortical thickness in the insula and precuneus in female migraineurs and a smaller volume of the parahippocampal gyrus in male migraineurs were observed despite both male and female migraineurs having comparable disease frequency and duration (11). Functionally, women with migraine showed stronger response to pain in brain regions involved in emotional processing such as the amygdala, which was consistent with increased measures of pain related unpleasantness for them compared to men with migraine. In a follow up study, abnormality in the insula was again observed in women between the ages of 20–65 years with migraine. It was found that there was a lack of age-related thinning in the insular cortex in female migraineurs compared to female healthy controls (12). A meta-analysis of nine voxel-based morphometry neuroimaging studies (222 migraineurs and 230 healthy controls), suggested sex-influence on some of the observed differences in the gray matter volume between migraineurs and healthy subjects. The analysis showed that a higher percentage of females in the patient sample was associated with decreased gray matter in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (13).

Sex-related differences in the topological properties of the brain functional networks have also been reported recently. In one study, a noxious stimulation paradigm utilizing a thermal probe was applied to the back of the hand in order to evoke a painful response (11). Female migraineurs showed greater brain activation in response compared to men with migraine in certain brain regions such as the amygdala, parahippocampus, basal ganglia, and posterior cingulate cortex. These regions are involved in processing of the emotional aspects of pain. The same study indicated significant differences between the functional connectivity of these structures with the rest of the brain (using a seed-based functional connectivity analysis approach), specifically with the areas involved in pain processing. Using graph theory analysis, one study revealed network level differences that may reflect faulty communication within and between brain regions in female migraineurs (14). Another study has further revealed widespread disrupted functional connectivity in female migraineurs compared to healthy women primarily in brain regions involved in discriminating sensory features of pain, pain modulation, and sensory integration (15). Sex-related differences have also been reported in the incidence of white matter abnormalities in female migraine patients compared to age-matched healthy female controls with no such difference in males (16).

Neuroimaging Findings in Migraine and Potential Sex-Related Influences

Hypothalamic Involvement

One of the most consistent and salient findings in neuroimaging studies of migraine is abnormal hypothalamic activity preceding (17, 18), during (1820) and even in between the migraine attacks (21). Most of the premonitory autonomic symptoms associated with a migraine attack are indeed thought to be of hypothalamic origin (22, 23). The hypothalamic orexinergic system in particular is thought to be a key regulator of the modulatory effects of the hypothalamus on the trigeminovascular system implicated in migraine pathophysiology (24). Orexin, a neuropeptide solely synthesized in the hypothalamus, plays a major role in modulating brain activity and a variety of complex functions including sleep, reward, feeding behavior, and stress response (24). Functional changes in hypothalamo–brainstem connectivity (22) including changes in functional coupling with the spinal trigeminal nuclei and the dorsal rostral pons (25) are shown to precede a migraine attack. The hypothalamus also serves as an interface between the neural system and the peripheral endocrine systems. It is likely that cyclic activation of trigeminovascular system by sex hormones during menstrual cycles may be one of the contributing factors to the incidence of migraine attacks via coupling with the hypothalamus in women. However, to the best of our knowledge there have not been any reports on neuroimaging differences between male vs. female migraineurs involving the hypothalamus.

Insular Involvement

Insular abnormalities in association with migraine have been reported in several neuroimaging studies (2631). There is abnormal intrinsic connectivity between the anterior insula and primary sensory cortices, and the pons (32). There is abnormal connectivity of the default mode network and central executive network in migraineurs compared to healthy subjects (29). Chronic migraine disease duration is correlated with intrinsic functional connectivity strength between the anterior insula and mediodorsal thalamus and the anterior insula and periaqueductal gray. Higher frequency of migraine attacks mediates increased connectivity between the somatosensory cortex and the anterior insula in response to evoked pain (31). Aberrant functional connectivity between right orbitofrontal insula and prefrontal regions is also observed within the salience network in women with chronic migraine (33). The insula is one of the regions that has been implicated in neuroimaging studies of sex-related differences in migraine.

Brainstem Involvement

Multiple studies have reported abnormal brainstem function in ictal and interictal migraineurs. This includes increased neuronal activity in the brainstem during migraine attacks (26, 3436) and dysfunctional descending modulation, involving the periaqueductal gray (PAG) and dorsal rostral pons (36), during and between migraine attacks (3739). Moreover, during the pre-headache phase of a migraine attack (<24 h), increased infra-slow oscillation and homogeneity in dorsal pons, spinal trigeminal nucleus, and hypothalamus are observed in migraine patients (40). Interictally, the dorsal pons show increased connectivity with the bilateral anterior insula in migraineurs (32). In an animal study, CGRP expression increased within the PAG in ovariectomized female rats, and CGRP level remained elevated even after receiving hormone replacement therapy (41). To the best of our knowledge, no studies evaluated male vs. female brainstem functional/structural differences in migraine. Given that a lack of female sex hormone increased CGRP expression in PAG in ovariectomized female rats (41), it is likely that descending pain modulation is affected differently in opposite sexes. Therefore, investigation of neuroimaging patterns in migraine should shed light on how sex influences pain modulation.

Extended Amygdala Involvement

The extended amygdala, which consists of the central medial amygdala, sublenticular substantia innominata, the nucleus accumbens shell, and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, regulates nociception, aversive motivational state, reward, memory, and learning (42). It interconnects extensively with the thalamus, hypothalamus, and cortical regions (43) and as such plays an important role in neural circuitry of emotion regulation (44). In a resting state fMRI study that investigated salience network connectivity in women with chronic migraine, the bilateral central and medial amygdala were found to be significantly less connected functionally with each other, and the overall salient network circuitry dys-synchronization was found to be centered on the extended amygdala among 351 salient intranetwork connectivities investigated (33). Using PET scan with u-opioid receptor tracer, researchers found that right amygdala opioid dysfunction is largely explained by migraine frequency and severity (45). Cortical spreading depression, a pathophysiological substrate of migraine with aura, was elicited in rats with NMDA administrated to the amygdala (46). The amygdala also shows sex differences in animal and human studies (47). These sex-specific differences in regional anatomy may explain the inconsistent findings amongst studies when including mixed (male and female) cohorts.

It seems reasonable to postulate that the extended amygdala is crucial (but not sufficient by itself) for the lack of habituation to salient information seen in migraine. Therefore, it contributes to the maladaptive response to head pain and promotes pain catastrophizing and recurrent negative thoughts commonly seen in female migraine patients.

Network Level Differences

Intrinsic functional brain networks (IFBN) such as the Default Mode Network, Salience Network, and Central Executive Network are brain state-dependent, spatial topographies representing inter-regional connectivity patterns, and consisting of functionally correlated brain regions. The diverse symptomatology of migraine suggests that multiple functional brain regions are at play. Interestingly, decades of migraine neuroimaging research failed to confirm a single brain region responsible for its pathogenesis. From an evolutionary standpoint, each human brain region has adapted to take on multiple roles in different contexts in order to perform a variety of functions (48). Taken together, it is unlikely that one isolated part of the nervous system is sufficient or necessary to orchestrate such complex brain process as migraine. The unique advantage of the functional brain network approach in studying migraine and chronic migraine is that it allows for a systemic and comprehensive approach to map out migraine symptoms to the underlying brain circuitry. This is a far better approach compared to the localization approach using a whole brain atlas, which likely results in missing the “forest” by only examining the “tree(s).”

Decreases in salience network and central executive network connectivity are correlated with chronic migraine headache frequency in women, suggesting that improving synchronization of these networks through therapeutic interventions may improve clinical symptoms and have potential to be used as a biomarker for monitoring disease progression and treatment response (49). The intrinsic functional connectivity between the brain networks can be modulated by the phase of the menstrual cycle and by the usage of oral contraceptive pills (50). Therefore, it is likely that the migraine burden or treatment response in women would be influenced by these factors.

Sex Specific Traits in Migraineurs and Implications for Neuroimaging

Perimenopausal Migraineurs

Perimenopause as a midlife transitional period in women is associated with significant changes in certain brain networks' underlying processes such as thermoregulation, circadian rhythms, sleep, and sensory processing (51). Fluctuations and decline in the levels of ovarian hormones during this period also have significant modulatory influences on brain function (5255), which could have significant implications for neurological disorders, including migraine (56, 57). A recent study provides evidence for increased incidence of vasomotor symptoms in aging women with a history of migraine (58). This finding may be concordant with neuroimaging findings that have shown sex-specific and disease specific abnormalities in the structure and function of the insular cortex, the core cortical region for autonomic integration, in women with migraine. This further emphasizes a need for neuroimaging studies of migraine in the aging population (59).

Trait Estradiol Decline

In migraine, decline in estrogen levels is thought to be one of the most potent triggers for occurrence of a migraine attack and is commonly referred to as the “estrogen withdrawal hypothesis” (60, 61). A recent study has shown that women with a history of migraine have faster decline of estradiol prior to menses than women with no history of migraine, irrespective of whether they had experienced a headache in that cycle or not (62), suggesting there exists an endogenous trait in women with migraine. Changes in estrogen levels could have modulatory effects on neurons containing estrogen receptors and may increase nociception (63, 64). Estrogen receptors are widely expressed in the trigeminal sensory system (65). The effects of estrogen on the receptors could be through modulating expression of nociceptive mediators, as well as through receptor coupling. Increased release of excitatory neurotransmitters can lead to the sensitization of the trigeminovascular system leading to peripheral and central sensitization (66, 67).

Neuroimaging studies in menstrual cycling women with migraine according to the phase of their menstrual cycle should provide insights on how decline in estrogen might modulate or affect functional activity or connectivity. Studying the interactions between sex hormones and brain activity should also extend to men as the dynamics of such interactions might not be the same in men and women. In fact, estrogen may also play a role in migraine for men but surprisingly men with migraine exhibit increased levels of estradiol while exhibiting clinical evidence of relative androgen deficiency (68).

Pubertal Development and Onset of Migraines

The highest incidence of migraine coincides with pubertal development period, which is also a critical period for brain reorganization. The sex-specific differences in timing and speed of these changes may be critical in reorganization of connections in the brain, and therefore, may predispose individuals to various diseases, such as migraine, with sex disparity. Recent studies provide support for this notion by revealing that the “timing” of the onset of menarche matters in migraine: earlier age at menarche increases the risk of migraine, but not other types of headaches, in women by adulthood (69). It is likely that sex-specific differences in the brain of adults with migraine (11, 12) may have started to appear around the onset of puberty (70) and that the sex-specific traits in female migraineurs may have begun to crystalize during the same time. Sex-specific differences in the trajectory of development of brain regions that are implicated in migraine pathophysiology, such as brainstem nuclei, may also increase the susceptibility to migraine (71).

Treatment Response Differences

FDA has recently approved several anti-calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) therapies following successful randomized, placebo controlled, double blinded trials, all of which had predominantly female participants. None of these studies evaluated the treatment response differences in women vs. men. In animal models, CGRP triggers migraine-like response in female but not male rodents, suggesting that female-specific mechanisms may be involved consequent to CGRP receptor activation and that blocking CGRP is probably unlikely to work in males (72). There is also evidence for sex differences in the expression of CGRP receptor components in the spinal trigeminal nucleus with higher levels of expression in females (73). Therefore, we question if monoclonal antibody blocking CGRP may be as effective for migraine in men compared to women.

Very few studies have looked at the neuroimaging changes following migraine treatment. In a pilot longitudinal fMRI study, the impact of SPG treatment on salience and executive networks in women with chronic migraine was examined (74). It was found that total network synchronization improved in the executive network but not in the salient network. There was a trend toward improvement in the salient network but its insignificance was probably due to small sample size. Moreover, within the salience network, connectivity between prefrontal to limbic regions greatly improved. Comparing chronic migraine patients who responded to Botox vs. those who did not, responders showed improved functional connectivity in a small case control study (75).

Conclusion

The sex-related differences in migraine go beyond the difference in prevalence of the disease and extend to sex-related differences in incidence and disease progression as well as in pharmacologic treatment response patterns. Given the sex differences in migraine, it may be more informative if researchers studied male and female migraineurs separately, such as using stratification in the study designs, to better delineate the underlying pathophysiology and treatment response. Statistical adjustment for sex differences in regression models does not and cannot adjust for the complexity of the underlying biological differences between males vs. females, and the sex-influences should be considered from the conception of neuroimaging studies to the analysis and interpretation of the results. This is certainly a dilemma when designing a migraine study given the already 1:3 male to female ratio in migraine and lesser engagement of men in research studies. At this point, it almost seems that we know less about male-specific compared to female-specific neuropathology. It is likely that despite the major overlap in the neural “culprits” involved, the modulatory influence of sex-influences will have a wider impact on the functional dynamics of the known players in migraine pathophysiology and as such findings in one sex may not simply and directly translate or extend to another sex.

Author Contributions

All authors listed have made a substantial, direct, and intellectual contribution to the work, and approved it for publication.

Conflict of Interest Statement

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

References

1. Goadsby PJ, Charbit AR, Andreou AP, Akerman S, Holland PR. Neurobiology of migraine. Neuroscience. (2009) 161:327–41. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2009.03.019

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

2. Lipton RB, Stewart WF, Diamond S, Diamond ML, Reed M. Prevalence and burden of migraine in the United States: data from the American Migraine Study II. Headache. (2001) 41:646–57.

PubMed Abstract | Google Scholar

3. Lipton RB, Bigal ME. Migraine: epidemiology, impact, and risk factors for progression. Headache. (2005) 45(Suppl 1):S3–13. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2005.4501001.x

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

4. McIntyre RS, Konarski JZ, Wilkins K, Bouffard B, Soczynska JK, Kennedy SH. The prevalence and impact of migraine headache in bipolar disorder: results from the Canadian Community Health Survey. Headache. (2006) 46:973–82. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2006.00469.x

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

5. Vos T, Flaxman AD, Naghavi M, Lozano R, Michaud C, Ezzati M, et al. Years lived with disability (YLDs) for 1160 sequelae of 289 diseases and injuries 1990–2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet. (2012) 380:2163–96. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)61729-2

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

6. Smitherman TA, Burch R, Sheikh H, Loder E. The prevalence, impact, and treatment of migraine and severe headaches in the United States: a review of statistics from national surveillance studies. Headache. (2013) 53:427–36. doi: 10.1111/head.12074

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

7. Russell MB, Rasmussen BK, Thorvaldsen P, Olesen J. Prevalence and sex-ratio of the subtypes of migraine. Int J Epidemiol. (1995) 24:612–8.

PubMed Abstract | Google Scholar

8. Brandes JL. The influence of estrogen on migraine: a systematic review. JAMA. (2006) 295:1824–30. doi: 10.1001/jama.295.15.1824

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

9. Stewart WF, Linet MS, Celentano DD, Van Natta M, Ziegler D. Age- and sex-specific incidence rates of migraine with and without visual aura. Am J Epidemiol. (1991) 134:1111–20. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a116014

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

10. Buse DC, Loder EW, Gorman JA, Stewart WF, Reed ML, Fanning KM, et al. Sex differences in the prevalence, symptoms, and associated features of migraine, probable migraine and other severe headache: results of the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention (AMPP) Study. Headache. (2013) 53:1278–99. doi: 10.1111/head.12150

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

11. Maleki N, Linnman C, Brawn J, Burstein R, Becerra L, Borsook D. Her versus his migraine: multiple sex differences in brain function and structure. Brain. (2012) 135(Pt 8):2546–59. doi: 10.1093/brain/aws175

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

12. Maleki N, Barmmetler G, Moulton EA, Scrivani S, Spierings EL, Becerra L, et al. Female migraineurs show lack of insular thinning with age. Pain. (2015) 156:1232–9. doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000159

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

13. Dai Z, Zhong J, Xiao P, Zhu Y, Chen F, Pan P, et al. Gray matter correlates of migraine and gender effect: a meta-analysis of voxel-based morphometry studies. Neuroscience. (2015) 299:88–96. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2015.04.066

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

14. Liu J, Qin W, Nan J, Li J, Yuan K, Zhao L, et al. Gender-related differences in the dysfunctional resting networks of migraine suffers. PLoS ONE. (2011) 6:e27049. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0027049

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

15. Zhang J, Su J, Wang M, Zhao Y, Zhang QT, Yao Q, et al. The posterior insula shows disrupted brain functional connectivity in female migraineurs without aura based on brainnetome Atlas. Sci Rep. (2017) 7:16868. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-17069-8

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

16. Kruit MC, van Buchem MA, Launer LJ, Terwindt GM, Ferrari MD. Migraine is associated with an increased risk of deep white matter lesions, subclinical posterior circulation infarcts and brain iron accumulation: the population-based MRI CAMERA study. Cephalalgia. (2010) 30:129–36. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2982.2009.01904.x

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

17. Maniyar FH, Sprenger T, Monteith T, Schankin CJ, Goadsby PJ. The premonitory phase of migraine–what can we learn from it? Headache. (2015) 55:609–20. doi: 10.1111/head.12572

CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

18. Schulte LH, Allers A, May A. Hypothalamus as a mediator of chronic migraine: evidence from high-resolution fMRI. Neurology. (2017) 88:2011–6. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000003963

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

19. Deecher DC. Physiology of thermoregulatory dysfunction and current approaches to the treatment of vasomotor symptoms. Expert Opin Investig Drugs. (2005) 14:435–48. doi: 10.1517/13543784.14.4.435

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

20. Denuelle M, Fabre N, Payoux P, Chollet F, Geraud G. Hypothalamic activation in spontaneous migraine attacks. Headache. (2007) 47:1418–26. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2007.00776.x

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

21. Moulton EA, Becerra L, Johnson A, Burstein R, Borsook D. Altered hypothalamic functional connectivity with autonomic circuits and the locus coeruleus in migraine. PLoS ONE. (2014) 9:e95508. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0095508

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

22. Maniyar FH, Sprenger T, Monteith T, Schankin C, Goadsby PJ. Brain activations in the premonitory phase of nitroglycerin-triggered migraine attacks. Brain. (2014) 137(Pt 1):232–41. doi: 10.1093/brain/awt320

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

23. May A. Understanding migraine as a cycling brain syndrome: reviewing the evidence from functional imaging. Neurol Sci. (2017) 38(Suppl 1):125–30. doi: 10.1007/s10072-017-2866-0

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

24. Holland P, Goadsby PJ. The hypothalamic orexinergic system: pain and primary headaches. Headache. (2007) 47:951–62. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2007.00842.x

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

25. Schulte LH, May A. The migraine generator revisited: continuous scanning of the migraine cycle over 30 days and three spontaneous attacks. Brain. (2016) 139(Pt 7):1987–93. doi: 10.1093/brain/aww097

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

26. Bahra A, Matharu MS, Buchel C, Frackowiak RS, Goadsby PJ. Brainstem activation specific to migraine headache. Lancet. (2001) 357:1016–7. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(00)04250-1

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

27. Schmidt-Wilcke T, Ganssbauer S, Neuner T, Bogdahn U, May A. Subtle grey matter changes between migraine patients and healthy controls. Cephalalgia. (2008) 28:1–4. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2982.2007.01428.x

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

28. Kim JH, Kim S, Suh SI, Koh SB, Park KW, Oh K. Interictal metabolic changes in episodic migraine: a voxel-based FDG-PET study. Cephalalgia. (2010) 30:53–61. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2982.2009.01890.x

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

29. Xue T, Yuan K, Zhao L, Yu D, Zhao L, Dong T, et al. Intrinsic brain network abnormalities in migraines without aura revealed in resting-state fMRI. PLoS ONE. (2012) 7:e52927. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0052927

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

30. Yang J, Zeng F, Feng Y, Fang L, Qin W, Liu X, et al. A PET-CT study on the specificity of acupoints through acupuncture treatment in migraine patients. BMC Complement Altern Med. (2012) 12:123. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-12-123

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

31. Maleki N, Becerra L, Brawn J, Bigal M, Burstein R, Borsook D. Concurrent functional and structural cortical alterations in migraine. Cephalalgia. (2012) 32:607–20. doi: 10.1177/0333102412445622

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

32. Tso AR, Trujillo A, Guo CC, Goadsby PJ, Seeley WW. The anterior insula shows heightened interictal intrinsic connectivity in migraine without aura. Neurology. (2015) 84:1043–50. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000001330

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

33. Androulakis XM, Rorden C, Peterlin BL, Krebs K. Modulation of salience network intranetwork resting state functional connectivity in women with chronic migraine. Cephalalgia. (2018) 38:1731–41. doi: 10.1177/0333102417748570

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

34. Weiller C, May A, Limmroth V, Juptner M, Kaube H, Schayck RV, et al. Brain stem activation in spontaneous human migraine attacks. Nat Med. (1995) 1:658–60.

PubMed Abstract | Google Scholar

35. Afridi SK, Matharu MS, Lee L, Kaube H, Friston KJ, Frackowiak RS, et al. A PET study exploring the laterality of brainstem activation in migraine using glyceryl trinitrate. Brain. (2005) 128(Pt 4):932–9. doi: 10.1093/brain/awh416

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

36. Akerman S, Holland PR, Goadsby PJ. Diencephalic and brainstem mechanisms in migraine. Nat Rev Neurosci. (2011) 12:570–84. doi: 10.1038/nrn3057

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

37. Welch KM, Nagesh V, Aurora SK, Gelman N. Periaqueductal gray matter dysfunction in migraine: cause or the burden of illness? Headache. (2001) 41:629–37. doi: 10.1046/j.1526-4610.2001.041007629.x

CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

38. Aurora SK, Barrodale PM, Tipton RL, Khodavirdi A. Brainstem dysfunction in chronic migraine as evidenced by neurophysiological and positron emission tomography studies. Headache. (2007) 47:996–1003. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2007.00853.x

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

39. Moulton EA, Burstein R, Tully S, Hargreaves R, Becerra L, Borsook D. Interictal dysfunction of a brainstem descending modulatory center in migraine patients. PLoS ONE. (2008) 3:e3799. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003799

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

40. Meylakh N, Marciszewski KK, Di Pietro F, Macefield VG, Macey PM, Henderson LA. Deep in the brain: changes in subcortical function immediately preceding a migraine attack. Hum Brain Mapp. (2018) 39:2651–63. doi: 10.1002/hbm.24030

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

41. Wang D, Zhao J, Wang J, Li J, Yu S, Guo X. Deficiency of female sex hormones augments PGE2 and CGRP levels within midbrain periaqueductal gray. J Neurol Sci. (2014) 346:107–11. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2014.08.002

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

42. Koepp MJ, Hammers A, Lawrence AD, Asselin MC, Grasby PM, Bench CJ. Evidence for endogenous opioid release in the amygdala during positive emotion. Neuroimage. (2009) 44:252–6. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2008.08.032

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

43. Sah P, Faber ES, Lopez De Armentia M, Power J. The amygdaloid complex: anatomy and physiology. Physiol Rev. (2003) 83:803–34. doi: 10.1152/physrev.00002.2003

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

44. LeDoux JE. Emotion circuits in the brain. Annu Rev Neurosci. (2000) 23:155–84. doi: 10.1146/annurev.neuro.23.1.155

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

45. Jassar H, Nascimento T, DaSilva AF. Impact of chronic migraine attacks and their severity on the endogenous μ-opioid neurotransmission in the limbic system. Neuroimage. (2019) 23:101905. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2019.101905

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

46. Akcali D, Sayin A, Sara Y, Bolay H. Does single cortical spreading depression elicit pain behaviour in freely moving rats? Cephalalgia. (2010) 30:1195–206. doi: 10.1177/0333102409360828

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

47. Pfau DR, Hobbs NJ, Breedlove SM, Jordan CL. Sex and laterality differences in medial amygdala neurons and astrocytes of adult mice. J Comp Neurol. (2016) 524:2492–502. doi: 10.1002/cne.23964

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

48. Pearson JM, Watson KK, Platt ML. Decision making: the neuroethological turn. Neuron. (2014) 82:950–65. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.04.037

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

49. Androulakis XM, Krebs K, Peterlin BL, Zhang T, Maleki N, Sen S, et al. Modulation of intrinsic resting-state fMRI networks in women with chronic migraine. Neurology. (2017) 89:163–9. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000004089

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

50. Petersen N, Kilpatrick LA, Goharzad A, Cahill L. Oral contraceptive pill use and menstrual cycle phase are associated with altered resting state functional connectivity. Neuroimage. (2014) 90:24–32. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.12.016

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

51. Brinton RD, Yao J, Yin F, Mack WJ, Cadenas E. Perimenopause as a neurological transition state. Nat Rev Endocrinol. (2015) 11:393–405. doi: 10.1038/nrendo.2015.82

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

52. Goldstein JM, Jerram M, Poldrack R, Ahern T, Kennedy DN, Seidman LJ, et al. Hormonal cycle modulates arousal circuitry in women using functional magnetic resonance imaging. J Neurosci. (2005) 25:9309–16. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2239-05.2005

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

53. Choi JC, Park SK, Kim YH, Shin YW, Kwon JS, Kim JS, et al. Different brain activation patterns to pain and pain-related unpleasantness during the menstrual cycle. Anesthesiology. (2006) 105:120–7. doi: 10.1097/00000542-200607000-00021

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

54. Goldstein JM, Jerram M, Abbs B, Whitfield-Gabrieli S, Makris N. Sex differences in stress response circuitry activation dependent on female hormonal cycle. J Neurosci. (2010) 30:431–8. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3021-09.2010

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

55. Pletzer B, Kronbichler M, Aichhorn M, Bergmann J, Ladurner G, Kerschbaum HH. Menstrual cycle and hormonal contraceptive use modulate human brain structure. Brain Res. (2010) 1348:55–62. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2010.06.019

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

56. Scott EL, Zhang QG, Vadlamudi RK, Brann DW. Premature menopause and risk of neurological disease: basic mechanisms and clinical implications. Mol Cell Endocrinol. (2014) 389:2–6. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2014.01.013

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

57. Faubion SS, Kuhle CL, Shuster LT, Rocca WA. Long-term health consequences of premature or early menopause and considerations for management. Climacteric. (2015) 18:483–91. doi: 10.3109/13697137.2015.1020484

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

58. Maleki N, Cheng YC, Tu Y, Locascio JJ. Longitudinal course of vasomotor symptoms in perimenopausal migraineurs. Ann Neurol. (2019) 85:865–74. doi: 10.1002/ana.25476

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

59. Bernstein C, Shifren J, Maleki N. Need for migraine/perimenopausal research. Headache. (2018) 58:1670–4. doi: 10.1111/head.13406

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

60. Somerville BW. The role of estradiol withdrawal in the etiology of menstrual migraine. Neurology. (1972) 22:355–65.

PubMed Abstract | Google Scholar

61. MacGregor EA, Hackshaw A. Prevalence of migraine on each day of the natural menstrual cycle. Neurology. (2004) 63:351–3. doi: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000133134.68143.2e

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

62. Pavlovic JM, Allshouse AA, Santoro NF, Crawford SL, Thurston RC, Neal-Perry GS, et al. Sex hormones in women with and without migraine: evidence of migraine-specific hormone profiles. Neurology. (2016) 87:49–56. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000002798

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

63. Liverman CS, Brown JW, Sandhir R, McCarson KE, Berman NE. Role of the oestrogen receptors GPR30 and ERalpha in peripheral sensitization: relevance to trigeminal pain disorders in women. Cephalalgia. (2009) 29:729–41. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2982.2008.01789.x

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

64. Gupta S, McCarson KE, Welch KM, Berman NE. Mechanisms of pain modulation by sex hormones in migraine. Headache. (2011) 51:905–22. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2011.01908.x

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

65. Cairns BE. The influence of gender and sex steroids on craniofacial nociception. Headache. (2007) 47:319–24. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2006.00708.x

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

66. Karki P, Webb A, Zerguine A, Choi J, Son DS, Lee E. Mechanism of raloxifene-induced upregulation of glutamate transporters in rat primary astrocytes. Glia. (2014) 62:1270–83. doi: 10.1002/glia.22679

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

67. Bottger P, Glerup S, Gesslein B, Illarionova NB, Isaksen TJ, Heuck A, et al. Glutamate-system defects behind psychiatric manifestations in a familial hemiplegic migraine type 2 disease-mutation mouse model. Sci Rep. (2016) 6:22047. doi: 10.1038/srep22047

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

68. van Oosterhout WPJ, Schoonman GG, van Zwet EW, Dekkers OM, Terwindt GM, MaassenVanDenBrink A, et al. Female sex hormones in men with migraine. Neurology. (2018) 91:e374–81. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000005855

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

69. Maleki N, Kurth T, Field A. Age at menarche and risk of developing migraine or non-migraine headaches by young adulthood: a prospective cohort study. Cephalalgia. (2017) 37:1257–63. doi: 10.1177/0333102416677999

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

70. Maleki N, Retzepi K, Lessard A, Berna-Renella C, Gollub R. Evidence that structural differences in amygdala and insula associated with migraine emerge as early as adolescence to young adulthood. In: Annual Meeting of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping. Honolulu, HI (2015).

Google Scholar

71. Maleki N, Bernstein C, Napadow V, Field A. Migraine and puberty: potential susceptible brain sites. Semin Pediatr Neurol. (2016) 23:53–9. doi: 10.1016/j.spen.2016.01.011

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

72. Avona A, Burgos-Vega C, Burton MD, Akopian AN, Price TJ, Dussor G. Dural calcitonin gene-related peptide produces female-specific responses in rodent migraine models. J Neurosci. (2019) 39:4323–31. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0364-19.2019

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

73. Ji Y, Rizk A, Voulalas P, Aljohani H, Akerman S, Dussor G, et al. Sex differences in the expression of calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor components in the spinal trigeminal nucleus. Neurobiol Pain. (2019) 6:100031. doi: 10.1016/j.ynpai.2019.100031

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

74. Krebs K, Rorden C, Androulakis XM. Resting state functional connectivity after sphenopalatine ganglion blocks in chronic migraine with medication overuse headache: a pilot longitudinal fMRI study. Headache. (2018) 58:732–43. doi: 10.1111/head.13318

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

75. Hubbard CS, Becerra L, Smith JH, DeLange JM, Smith RM, Black DF, et al. Brain changes in responders vs. non-responders in chronic migraine: markers of disease reversal. Front Hum Neurosci. (2016) 10:497. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00497

PubMed Abstract | CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar

Keywords: brain, neuroimaging, magnetic resonance imaging, sex, migraine, sex-related differences

Citation: Maleki N and Androulakis XM (2019) Is There Any MRI Pattern That Discriminates Female From Male Migraine Patients? Front. Neurol. 10:961. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2019.00961

Received: 02 July 2019; Accepted: 21 August 2019;
Published: 06 September 2019.

Edited by:

Massimo Filippi, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Italy

Reviewed by:

Catherine D. Chong, Mayo Clinic Arizona, United States
Francesca Puledda, King's College London, United Kingdom

Copyright © 2019 Maleki and Androulakis. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

*Correspondence: Nasim Maleki, nmaleki@mgh.harvard.edu