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AHS 2023 | Headache: an asymmetric pain process?

A recent study highlighted differences between migraine with left- vs. right-sided headache. Adam Sprouse Blum, MD, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, discusses these results in the broader context of the human body. Many processes in the brain, such as language processing, are asymmetric. This may confer evolutionary advantages by preventing the duplication of circuits in both hemispheres and allowing parallel processing. A recent meta-analysis of neuroimaging studied suggests that pain is one of these asymmetric processes, with the right hemisphere being more involved in pain processing than the left. This finding may not be specific to headache and migraine, as other studies have suggested that the left hand is more receptive to nociceptive stimuli than the right. This interview took place at the American Headache Society 2023 meeting in Austin, TX.

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