Resting brain glucose uptake in headache-free migraineurs

Headache. 2009 Jan;49(1):90-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2008.01206.x. Epub 2008 Jul 22.


Background and objective: To compare metabolism in the brains of migraineurs during headache-free periods with those obtained from healthy volunteers.

Methods: Eleven migraineurs (defined by the International Headache Society's criteria) presented during spontaneous headache-free intervals to undergo (18)FDG PET brain imaging of glucose metabolism. The control group consisted of 14 healthy volunteers. Comparison of images was done using Statistical Parametric Mapping to detect significant (P < .05) differences in brain glucose metabolism between the 2 groups.

Results: Two regions of significant increase in glucose uptake were identified in migraineurs relative to the control population. The 2 regions were mapped predominantly to the posterior white matter of the cerebrum and cerebellum.

Conclusions: Our study demonstrates the presence of what may be a primary metabolic disturbance in the posterior white matter of the brain in migraineurs.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Glucose-6-Phosphate / analogs & derivatives
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Migraine Disorders / diagnostic imaging*
  • Migraine Disorders / metabolism*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Radiopharmaceuticals


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • 2-fluoro-2-deoxyglucose-6-phosphate
  • Glucose-6-Phosphate
  • Glucose