Migraine Term of the Day: Receptor
When we're looking at Migraine and headache information, whether it's from our doctor, a book, or an online article, we sometimes come across medical terms that can be confusing.
Sometimes, it's easy enough to substitute another word or a short phrase for the medical term. At other times, substituting just doesn't convey quite the same meaning or takes more than a few words.
Some of you have expressed an interest in learning more of the medical terminology that comes up when discussing Migraine disease and other headache disorders. So, I'll be posting a "term of the day," probably a couple of times a week. If there are terms you'd like to have defined, please leave a comment to let me know what it is.
Today's term: Receptor.
A receptor is a structure either inside or on the surface of a cell that selectively receives and binds a specific substance.
When we talk about Migraines, we sometimes discuss receptors in relationship to medications, particular Migraine abortive medications. The triptans -- Imitrex, Maxalt, Zomig, Amerge, Relpax, Axert, and Frova -- work by binding to different combinations of serotonin receptors. This comes into play when we discuss why we shouldn't take different triptans in a 24-hour period and when we discuss the possibility of serotonin syndrome when we take different types of medications that impact serotonin levels.
More information in:
For more terms, see our Migraine and Headache Glossary.
Medical review by John Claude Krusz, PhD, MD.