The premonitory phase: A crucial stage in migraine

Neurologia. 2017 Dec 22;S0213-4853(17)30359-6. doi: 10.1016/j.nrl.2017.09.014. Online ahead of print.
[Article in En, Spanish]


Introduction: The premonitory phase comprises a wide range of symptoms that precede the onset of pain in a migraine episode by up to 48hours. Premonitory symptoms are often not recognised by patients but do have a significant impact on their quality of life. As these symptoms represent the first stage of a migraine attack, they are crucial in improving our understanding of the key points of the origin of migraine.

Development: This paper uses a question-answer format to review the main clinical studies analysing premonitory symptoms, their predictive capacity, the relationship between these symptoms and the biology of migraine, and the role of neuroimaging in the premonitory phase. Finally, we discuss the relevance of these symptoms as potential therapeutic targets in the future.

Conclusions: This study of the premonitory phase has demonstrated that the hypothalamus plays an essential role in the origin of migraine attacks. We should consider the search for new targets in acute migraine treatment in order to act before the onset of the pain. This would imply a radical change in the lives of patients with migraine.

Keywords: Dopamina; Dopamine; Fase premonitoria; Hipotálamo; Hypothalamus; Migraine; Migraña; Premonitory phase; Premonitory symptoms; Prodromes; Pródromos; Síntomas premonitorios.