The Cannabis Papers: A citizen’s guide to cannabinoids (2011)
Headache Edition ~ Autumnal Equinox
Equinox and Homeostasis are mid-point extremes and today’s serotonin system science looks at 5-HT (5-hydroxytryptamine) and its role in modulating another extreme, the brain: specifically, headaches. Below are five (brief) science stories from the National Institutes of Health (PubMed). The serotonin brain tales include: pro-cognitive 5-HT4 receptors, mitigating medication overuse, abnormal headache chronicity, (red) wine interference mechanisms, and new cluster headache horizons.
Autumnal Equinox Health Everyone!
1. Serotonin 5-HT4 Receptors ~ Pro-Cognitive Hippocampal Effects
“Activation of serotonin 5-HT4 receptors has pro-cognitive effects on memory performance. … These results indicate that 5-HT4 receptors are not synthesized by cholinergic cells, and thus would be absent from cholinergic terminals. In contrast, several non-cholinergic cell populations within the basal forebrain and its target hippocampal and cortical areas express these receptors and are thus likely to mediate the enhancement of acetylcholine release elicited by 5-HT4 agonists.”
Serotonin 5-HT4 receptors and forebrain cholinergic system: receptor expression in identified cell populations.
Peñas-Cazorla R, Vilaró MT.
Brain Struct Funct. 2014 Sep 3. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 25183542 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
2. Serotonin Metabolism ~ Reversing Anxiety and Depression
“Medication overuse headache (MOH) affects between 1% and 2% of the general population but is present in up to 50% of patients seen in headache centers. … We conclude that headache frequency can be reduced to episodic headache in more than 50% of the patients by simple detoxification and information. Approximately half the patients will not have need for prophylactic medication after withdrawal. Pain perception is altered in patients with MOH but can be restored to a baseline pattern, indicating a reversible mechanism in the central sensitization leading to chronic pain. The great comorbidity with depression and anxiety could be a consequence of the altered serotonin metabolism indicating a reversible and potentially treatable condition.”
Medication overuse headache.
Munksgaard SB, Jensen RH.
Headache. 2014 Jul-Aug;54(7):1251-7. doi: 10.1111/head.12408. Epub 2014 Jul 2.
PMID: 24990298 [PubMed - in process]
3. Serotonergic Homeostasis ~ Chronic Migraine and Tension-Type Headaches
“The primary aim of this study (TA-CH, Tryptophan Amine in Chronic Headache) was to investigate a possible role of tryptophan (TRP) metabolism in chronic migraine (CM) and chronic tension-type headache (CTTH). … Our results support the hypothesis that TRP metabolism is altered in CM and CTTH patients, leading to a reduction in plasma TRY. As TRY modulates the function of pain matrix serotonergic system, this may affect modulation of incoming nociceptive inputs from the trigeminal endings and posterior horns of the spinal cord. We suggest that these biochemical abnormalities play a role in the chronicity of CM and CTTH.”
Tryptamine levels are low in plasma of chronic migraine and chronic tension-type headache.
D'Andrea G, D'Amico D, Bussone G, Bolner A, Aguggia M, Saracco MG, Galloni E, De Riva V, D'Arrigo A, Colavito D, Leon A, Perini F.
Neurol Sci. 2014 Jul 14. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 25016960 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
4. Serotonin Metabolism / Migraines ~ Wine Interference Mechanisms
“Wine, and specifically red wine, is a migraine trigger. Non-migraineurs may have headache attacks with wine ingestion as well. The reasons for that triggering potential are uncertain, but the presence of phenolic flavonoid radicals and the potential for interfering with the central serotonin metabolism are probably the underlying mechanisms of the relationship between wine and headache. Further controlled studies are necessary to enlighten this traditional belief.”
Wine and headache.
Krymchantowski AV, da Cunha Jevoux C.
Headache. 2014 Jun;54(6):967-75. doi: 10.1111/head.12365. Epub 2014 May 6.
PMID: 24801068 [PubMed - in process]
5. Serotonin Homeostasis ~ New Migraine and Cluster Headache Horizons
“Migraine and cluster headache are primary headache disorders commonly encountered in clinical practice. … This article will highlight several of the new treatments that are currently under investigation including novel delivery mechanisms of already existing medications, calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor antagonists, antibodies to CGRP and its receptor, serotonin receptor agonists, transient receptor potential vanilloid receptor modulators, orexin receptor antagonists, glial cell modulators, and neuromodulation.”
New treatments for headache.
Vollbracht S, Rapoport AM.
Neurol Sci. 2014 May;35 Suppl 1:89-97. doi: 10.1007/s10072-014-1747-z.
PMID: 24867844 [PubMed - in process]
Serotonin Video: The Truth about Depression BBC Full Documentary 2013
Posted by Bryan W. Brickner