BACKGROUND: According to the International Classification of Headache Disorders 3, post-traumatic headache (PTH) attributed to traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a secondary headache reported to have developed within 7 days from head injury, regaining consciousness following the head injury, or discontinuation of medication(s) impairing the ability to sense or report headache following the head injury. It is one of the most common secondary headache disorders, and it is defined as persistent when it lasts more than 3 months. MAIN BODY: Currently, due to the high prevalence of this disorder, several preclinical studies have been conducted using different animal models of mild TBI to reproduce conditions that engender PTH. Despite representing a simplification of a complex disorder and displaying different limitations concerning the human condition, animal models are still a mainstay to study in vivo the mechanisms of PTH and have provided valuable insight into the pathophysiology and possible treatment strategies. Different models reproduce different types of trauma and have been ideated in order to ensure maximal proximity to the human condition and optimal experimental reproducibility. CONCLUSION: At present, despite its high prevalence, PTH is not entirely understood, and the differential contribution of pathophysiological mechanisms, also observed in other conditions like migraine, has to be clarified. Although facing limitations, animal models are needed to improve understanding of PTH. The knowledge of currently available models is necessary to all researchers who want to investigate PTH and contribute to unravel its mechanisms.

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The journal of headache and pain
Department of Internal Medicine

Benemei, S. (Silvia), Labastida-Ramirez, A, Abramova, E. (Ekaterina), Brunelli, N. (Nicoletta), Caronna, E. (Edoardo), Diana, P. (Paola), … Maassen van den Brink, A. (2020). Persistent post-traumatic headache: a migrainous loop or not? The preclinical evidence. The journal of headache and pain (Vol. 21). doi:10.1186/s10194-020-01135-0