Ann Arbor, Mich., March 31, 2017 – Dr. Alex DaSilva, assistant professor in the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences, is the lead author of a new study on migraine headaches that could lead to new treatment methods for patients who suffer from the debilitating condition.
DaSilva and his co-researchers used PET scans of the brain to show the fluctuation of dopamine levels during migraine attacks. The research showed, among other findings, that dopamine levels fell significantly during a patient’s migraine attacks. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate emotion, motivation and sensory perception. Better understanding its connection to migraines could help improve dopamine-based therapies that are currently used to treat migraines. The study may also help explain migraine patients' behavior during attacks, which often involves needing to avoid sensory stimulation.
A summary of the findings is posted on the U-M News and Information website.
The study, “Dopamine D2/D3 Imbalance During Migraine Attack and Allodynia In Vivo,” is in the March 29 issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
The University of Michigan School of Dentistry is one of the nation’s leading dental schools engaged in oral health care education, research, patient care and community service. General dental care clinics and specialty clinics providing advanced treatment enable the school to offer dental services and programs to patients throughout Michigan. Classroom and clinic instruction prepare future dentists, dental specialists, and dental hygienists for practice in private offices, hospitals, academia and public agencies. Research seeks to discover and apply new knowledge that can help patients worldwide. For more information about the School of Dentistry, visit us on the Web at: www.dent.umich.edu.
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