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Mechanisms of Tension-type Headache
R. Jensen
Posted May 2002
Cephalalgia 2001; 21:786-789

Although tension-type headache represents one of the most frequent and costly diseases in modern society, very little research on this disease has actually been undertaken. In contrast to formerly held beliefs, tension-type headache is a separate entity that can and should be separated from migraine. As yet, no specific biochemical abnormalities have been identified but a reliable human model of tension-type headache has been developed by means of infusion of a NO-donor, glyceryl trinitrate. Myofascial factors and peripheral sensitization of nociceptors play an importrant role in the episodic form, and central sensitization has been demonstrated in the chronic form. As chronic tension-type headache usually evolves from the episodic form, prevention and reversal of this central sensitization may be an important target for future pathophysiological studies and drug development.