Neuronal Complexity in a Model of Migraine: Amynah Pradhan, PhD

The associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago shared the findings of her and colleagues’ work that suggest that distinct cytoarchitectural changes occur in the brain that may underlie migraine chronification. [WATCH TIME: 4 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 4 minutes

“It's really important to understand that neurons in our brain are not just static, 2-dimensional things. In fact, they're constantly moving and changing and responding to the environment around them. What that means is that they're sending out neurites, and they're retracting neurites. So, when we say that there's decreased neuronal complexity in these models, what that means is that they may be sort of less flexible and less responsive to their environment.”

At the 2022 American Headache Society (AHS) Annual Scientific Meeting, June 9-11, in Denver, Colorado, Amynah Pradhan, PhD, delivered this year’s Harold G. Wolff Award Lecture, focusing on her and colleagues’ work on migraine and peripheral pain models which showed that there are differential alterations in neuronal complexity. Notably, the findings suggest that these distinct cytoarchitectural changes that occur may underlie migraine chronification.1

Using a nitroglycerin model of chronic migraine-associated pain, mice were administered 10 mg/kg nitroglycerin every other day for 9 days, with cortical spreading depression—a physiological correlate of migraine aura—induced in anesthetized mice using potassium chloride. Pradhan and colleagues observed increased neuronal complexity in the thalamus, but no change in the amygdala or caudate putamen, contrasting prior work from their model.

To find out more about the results and the clinical implications of these critical basic science assessments, NeurologyLive® sat down with Pradhan, who is an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She offered some background on her and her colleague’s study and provided clinical context to the results that were presented at this year’s meeting.

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1. Pradhan A. Harold G. Wolff Award Lecture: Migraine and Peripheral Pain Models Show Differential Alterations in Neuronal Complexity. Presented at: AHS Annual Scientific Meeting; June 9-11, 2022; Denver, CO.