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Animation of cortical spreading depression

Cortical spreading depression is a wave of hyperactivity followed by a wave of inhibition, usually in the visual cortex.[1]

The term is used by neuroscientists to represent at least one of the following cortical processes:

The scintillating scotoma of migraine in humans may be related to the neurophysiologic phenomenon termed the spreading depression of Leão.[3]

The spreading depression wave progresses across the cortex at approximately 3.6 mm/minute.[4]

See also


  • "Cortical spreading depression causes and coincides with tissue hypoxia", Nat Neurosci. 29 April 2007, Takano T, Tian GF, Peng W, Lou N, Lovatt D, Hansen AJ, Kasischke KA, Nedergaard M., Department of Neurosurgery, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York.
  • "A delayed class of BOLD waveforms associated with spreading depression in the feline cerebral cortex can be detected and characterised using independent component analysis (ICA)", Magn Reson Imaging. 21 November 2003, Netsiri C, Bradley DP, Takeda T, Smith MI, Papadakis N, Hall LD, Parsons AA, James MF, Huang CL., Physiological Laboratory, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
  1. ^ Dodick DW & Gargus JJ (August 2008). "Why migraines strike". Scientific American.
  2. ^ Hadjikhani N et al (2001). "Mechanisms of migraine aura revealed by functional MRI in human visual cortex". PNAS 98, 4687-4692.
  3. ^ Leão AAP (1944). "Spreading depression of activity in the cerebral cortex". J Neurophysiol 7, 359-390.
  4. ^ Porooshani H, Porooshani GH, Gannon L, & Kyle GM (2004). "Speed of progression of migrainous visual aura measured by sequential field assessment". Neuro-Ophthalmology 28(2), 101-105.

Further reading

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