Recurrent spreading depression (SD) causes early opening of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) Academic Article uri icon


  • SD is a depolarization wave propagating at a rate of about 3 mm/min in the cerebral cortex. It is characterized by an amplitude reduction of the electrocorticographic activity, a rise of the extracellular potassium to 60 mM and a reduction of the extracellular volume. Typical changes of cerebral blood flow (CBF) accompany SD, which consist of a short lasting “spreading hyperemia” followed by a long lasting “spreading oligemia”. SD is triggered by electrical, mechanical or toxic factors and is probably involved in the pathogenesis of migraine, focal ischemia, head trauma and cerebral hemorrhage. SD is assumed to be the pathophysiological correlate of the migraine aura. We have recently observed a patient with familial hemiplegic migraine (FHM) type II and a long-lasting migraine aura with fluctuating neurological symptoms. Quantitative analysis of early gadolinium-enhanced MR images …

publication date

  • January 1, 2005