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5-Hydroxytryptamine supersensitivity as a new theory of headache and central pain: A clinical pharmacological approach with p-chlorophenylalanine



213 29 29 4 4 F. Sicuteri B. Anselmi P. L. Del Bianco Department of Clinical Pharmacology of the University of Florence Headache Center Italy Abstract Vascular supersensitivity to 5-hydroxytryptamine, but not to noradrenaline is observed in volunteers suffering from untreatable migraine, following treatment with parachlorophenylalanine, a specific serotonin depletor. A similar supersensitivity at brain level is claimed to explain an unusual systemic pain syndrome developed in 4 patients affected by migraine and treated with this serotonin depleting agent; hyperalgesia, hyperpathia, spontaneous pain, according to the picture of central pain, are demonstrable. The pain syndrome is reversible with the drug discontinuation; it reappears promptly when the treatment is started again. The pain from serotonin depletion may represent a chemical approach to the mechanism of central pain, such as thalamic syndrome, and may give a new suggestive light to the serotonin interpretation of migraine and some daily headaches. The increased vascular and nervous responsitivity in patients suffering from migraine, to monoamines and correlated drugs (5-HT, noradrenaline, metaraminol, LSD-25 and psylocibine), may be interpreted in terms of central and peripheral monoamine supersensitivity.



PsychopharmacologySpringer Journals

Published: Dec 1, 1973

DOI: 10.1007/BF00429282

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