NEURONAL SIGNALING AND PHARMACOLOGY
Migraine involves changes in the excitability of neurons in multiple brain regions that may trigger attacks, and also activation of neurons that transmit pain signals that generate headache. We study the function of neurons from the brain cortex that are thought to generate migraine aura, as well as neurons from the trigeminal ganglion that are believed to transmit the pain of headache as well as other facial pain disorders. We study the effects of different neurotransmitters on neuronal signaling -- we are particularly interested in the role of opioids in the regulation of brain excitability and pain transmission. We also study the effects of the neurotransmitters glutamate, GABA, serotonin, ATP, and adenosine among others with the goal of identifying novel therapies that target the cellular signaling pathways that are activated by these transmitters.