Atmospheric Pressure and TRP Channel Activation of Headache

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Abstract In addressing the central question regarding the role of peripheral and central nociceptive systems in the generation
of migraine attacks, Bolay and Rapoport cite articles on transient receptor potential (TRP) vanilloid 1 (TRPV1)
and the ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) channels. Due to the specific expression on trigeminal sensory neurons, the research on
TRP channels underscores the involvement of the peripheral component. Ethanol, recognized as a trigger of
migraine attacks, lowers the threshold temperature for TRPV1 activation, and by this mechanism evokes neurogenic
inflammatory responses, including meningeal vasodilation. In another report, a man with a history of cluster
headache evidenced cluster-like attacks when exposed to the scent of Umbellularia californica. The observation that
the attack was preceded by a sharp cold sensation in the nostril, ipsilateral to the pain, suggested a contributing role
for cold-sensitive channels, TRPA1 or TRP melastatin 8(TRPM8), the menthol receptor.
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