The Gut-Brain Connection in Migraine

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Key Questions
  • What parts of the body comprise the gut?
  • How are the gut and brain connected?
  • What is the vagus nerve?
  • What is the enteric nervous system?
  • What role does the gut play in serotonin and GABA production?
  • What is the gut microbiome?
  • Why is the gut considered to be an external organ?
  • How does the gut impact our overall health?
  • Can depression and anxiety originate in the gut?
  • What is neuropathic pain?
  • How does the gut affect chronic pain?
  • How are gut disorders such as nausea and emesis (vomiting) related to migraine?
  • How is the vagus nerve related to gastroparesis and nausea?
  • What is gastroparesis and how is it linked to migraine?
  • What are medications that act as neuromodulators, and how do they work?
  • What are some ways to restore the gut?
Interview Notes
Treatments Mentioned
  • CGRP monoclonal antibodies (mAbs)
  • CGRP receptor antagonists (gepants)
  • Gabapentin (Neurontin)
  • Nortriptyline (Pamelor)
  • Probiotics
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Topiramate (Topamax)

Please note: The Migraine World Summit’s aim is to bring you a variety of perspectives and expertise, independent of bias or judgment. Alternative theories presented in this video have not been medically reviewed. Views expressed in this interview do not necessarily represent the views of the Migraine World Summit. Please always consult your health care professional and do your own research before making changes to your treatment plan.

Jay Pasricha, MD, MBBS

Chair of Medicine
Mayo Clinic, Arizona

Dr. Pasricha is currently the chair of medicine at Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Arizona. Formerly he was the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Neurogastroenterology; as well as the founder and co-director of the Amos Food, Body and Mind Center. In addition, he previously held appointments as professor in the Department of Neurosciences in the School of Medicine and at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.

At a national level, Dr. Pasricha is the chair of the National Institutes of Health–funded multi-center Gastroparesis Clinical Research Consortium. In the past, he served on the National Commission on Digestive Diseases, appointed by the United States Congress to provide a roadmap for progress in gastrointestinal disorders. He is also the founding chair of the Center for Gastrointestinal Innovation and Technology. Dr. Pasricha served on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) GI Drug Advisory Committee for several years and continues to provide advice to the FDA on an ad hoc basis.

Dr. Pasricha has authored more than 300 manuscripts and book chapters and has been credited with more than 50 patents for novel gastrointestinal diagnosis and treatment methods. His extensive publications on the enteric nervous system and gut-brain axis have gained global attention. He has served as associate editor for publications including Gastroenterology, the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, and Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, as well as acted as senior editorial advisor for Digestive Diseases and Sciences.

He has received the American Gastroenterological Association Master’s Award for Outstanding Sustained Achievement in Gastroenterology and the Nobility in Science Award from the National Pancreas Foundation. In addition, he has consistently been on Castle Connolly’s list of America’s “Top Docs,” as well as on the list of “Best Doctors” in America.

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