Migraine: Diagnosis and Therapeutic Advances

Course #50072 -


Advances have provided insightful evidence regarding the role of the trigeminal system, cortical spreading depression, ion-channel pathology, and signaling molecules, such as nitric oxide, adenosine, and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), in the pathophysiology of migraine. The differential diagnosis between migraine and the most common medical conditions (e.g., cluster and tension headache) has been extensively reviewed. However, the differential diagnosis and management of other cephalalgias relevant to medical and dental practice, such as cranial neuralgias, trigeminal pathology, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, and oral pathologies, are seldom addressed. An approach combining pharmacological and nonpharmacological therapies, including alternative and complementary approaches, will be discussed. This course provides an integrated approach to the clinically relevant advances in the understanding of migraine pathophysiology and novel therapies and focuses on the differential diagnosis between migraine and a group of common, yet often overlooked, medical and dental conditions.

Education Category: Medical / Surgical
Release Date: 07/01/2021
Expiration Date: 06/30/2024

Table of Contents


This course is designed for dental professionals involved in the care of patients with known or suspected migraine.

Accreditations & Approvals

NetCE Nationally Approved PACE Program Provider for FAGD/MAGD credit. Approval does not imply acceptance by any regulatory authority or AGD endorsement. 10/1/2021 to 9/30/2027 Provider ID #217994. NetCE is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider. ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry. Concerns or complaints about a CE provider may be directed to the provider or to ADA CERP at www.ada.org/cerp. NetCE is approved as a provider of continuing education by the Florida Board of Dentistry, Provider #50-2405. NetCE is a Registered Provider with the Dental Board of California. Provider Number RP3841. Completion of this course does not constitute authorization for the attendee to perform any services that he or she is not legally authorized to perform based on his or her license or permit type.

Designations of Credit

NetCE designates this activity for 5 continuing education credits. AGD Subject Code 200. This course meets the Dental Board of California's requirements for 5 unit(s) of continuing education. Dental Board of California course #05-3841-22326.

Course Objective

The purpose of this course is to provide an update of research elucidating the pathophysiology of migraine, which has resulted in "mechanism-based" therapies; to review the differential diagnosis of headache disorders; and to summarize the current and evidence-based guidelines for clinical management of migraine. The course will highlight the need for a graded therapeutic response based on frequency of attacks and pattern of symptoms, and the importance of patient education and self-management techniques as a means of ensuring compliance and improving outcomes.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Discuss the prevalence of migraine in relation to age, gender, and such factors as socioeconomic status, education, and comorbidities.
  2. Provide an updated overview of the progress made in the understanding of migraine pathophysiology.
  3. Review the clinical profiles and diagnostic criteria of migraine with or without aura, and summarize disease staging.
  4. Provide an update overview of the differential diagnosis of migraines focusing on medical and dental conditions, such as temporomandibular disorders, sinusitis, and orofacial pain.
  5. Discuss the preventive and acute treatment of migraine.


A. José Lança, MD, PhD, received his Medical Degree at the University of Coimbra in Coimbra, Portugal, and completed his internship at the University Hospital, Coimbra. He received his PhD in Neurosciences from a joint program between the Faculties of Medicine of the University of Coimbra, Portugal, and the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. He was a Gulbenkian Foundation Scholar and received a Young Investigator Award by the American Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.

Dr. Lança participated in international courses and conferences on neurosciences. He has contributed to a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the ontogenetic development of the brain opiatergic system. As a research scientist at the Addiction Research Foundation (ARF) in Toronto, he initiated research on the functional role played by dopaminergic cell transplants on alcohol consumption, leading to the publication of the first research reports on cell transplantation and modulation of an addictive behavior. Subsequently, he also investigated the role played by other neurotransmitter systems in the limbic system and mechanisms of reward, co-expression of classical neurotransmitters and neuropeptides and potential role in neuropsychiatric disorders.

He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the Faculty of Medicine and at the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Toronto, where he lectures and directs several undergraduate and postgraduate pharmacology and clinical pharmacology courses. He was the Program Director for Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology of the University of Toronto. He has developed clinical pharmacology courses for the Medical Radiation Sciences and Chiropody Programs of The Michener Institute for Health Sciences at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Lança’s commitment to medical education started while a medical student, teaching in the Department of Histology and Embryology, where he became cross-appointed after graduation. In Toronto, he has contributed extensively to curriculum development and teaching of pharmacology to undergraduate, graduate, and medical students.

He has authored research and continuing education in peer-reviewed publications and is the author of six chapters in pharmacology textbooks. Dr. Lança has conducted research in various areas including neuropharmacology, pharmacology of alcoholism and drug addiction, and herbal medications.

He has developed and taught courses and seminars in continuing medical education and continuing dental education. His commitment to continuing education emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to clinical pharmacology.

Faculty Disclosure

Contributing faculty, A. José Lança, MD, PhD, has disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

Division Planner

William E. Frey, DDS, MS, FICD

Division Planner Disclosure

The division planner has disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

About the Sponsor

The purpose of NetCE is to provide challenging curricula to assist healthcare professionals to raise their levels of expertise while fulfilling their continuing education requirements, thereby improving the quality of healthcare.

Our contributing faculty members have taken care to ensure that the information and recommendations are accurate and compatible with the standards generally accepted at the time of publication. The publisher disclaims any liability, loss or damage incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents. Participants are cautioned about the potential risk of using limited knowledge when integrating new techniques into practice.

Disclosure Statement

It is the policy of NetCE not to accept commercial support. Furthermore, commercial interests are prohibited from distributing or providing access to this activity to learners.

Technical Requirements

Supported browsers for Windows include Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0 and up, Mozilla Firefox 3.0 and up, Opera 9.0 and up, and Google Chrome. Supported browsers for Macintosh include Safari, Mozilla Firefox 3.0 and up, Opera 9.0 and up, and Google Chrome. Other operating systems and browsers that include complete implementations of ECMAScript edition 3 and CSS 2.0 may work, but are not supported. Supported browsers must utilize the TLS encryption protocol v1.1 or v1.2 in order to connect to pages that require a secured HTTPS connection. TLS v1.0 is not supported.