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The migraine medications known as Ergotomine, and DHE (dihydroergotamine) do not affect the blood vessels or the blood flow inside the brain.

In this study eight patients were given these medications and CT Scans were used to measure the blood flow through the brain. There was no change or measurable effect on the blood flow inside the brain in any of the eight patients.

These medications are powerful vaso-constrictors. This means they cause a narrowing of the arteries, and this narrowing causes a reduction in the blood flow through the arteries.

The medications tested in the study provide relief in many migraine sufferers because the “migraine arteries” are not located inside the brain but rather on the outside of the skull. The migraine arteries are located just under the skin of the scalp and are represented and labelled in the picture above.

The blood flow through these “migraine arteries” is effected immediately by ergotomine and DHE. These medications are not pain killers, they are vaso-constrictors that act directly on the migraine arteries.

View original Ergotamine study at this link: The Effect of Ergotamine and Dihydroergotamine on Cerebral Blood Flow in Man


Interesting references of the arteries during migraine:

Regional cerebral blood flow during migraine attacks by Xenon-133 inhalation and emission tomography

The effect of single dose ergotamine tartrate on peripheral arteries in migraine patients: methodological aspects and time effect curve. 

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