NDPH – Microglia, Mitochondria & Neuroinflammation

New Daily Persistent Headache is poorly understood.  The pathophysiology is merely speculative. This presentation is just that, speculative.

Our speculation is, NDPH may have nothing in common with acute migraine.  Migraine modulators are not effective for NDPH. That’s not to say acute migrainers don’t get NDPH, they do, but perhaps there is no connection between the two.

Acute migrainers typically don’t have onsets tied to: Infection, vaccines in immunodeficient, post surgical, toxins, physical trauma, psychological trauma-assault, joint hypermobility-EDS, etc

NDPH onset has far more similarity with: ME/CFS, FM, PTSD, GWI, CRPS etc.  The onset similarities: Infection, vaccines in immunodeficient, post surgical, toxins, physical trauma, psychological trauma-assault, joint hypermobility-EDS, etc are remarkable.

This is why we think that collaboration with researchers of ME/CFS, FM etc, complex neuroinflammatory metabolic dysfunction may lead to a better understanding of NDPH and ultimately therapies.

Our goal is to work with a group like The Open Medicine Foundation by funding a headache neurologist chair to join them in their research.

Look up the work of folks like: Nancy Klimas, Jose Montoya, Ron Davis, Robert Naviaux, Jarred Younger, etc


Microglia are glial cells that act as scavengers in the central nervous system. They are essential responders to what I am going to call stressors: pathogens, injurious stimuli, trauma, etc.  When stressors strike, our body, down to the cellular level goes into response mode. A complex series of simultaneous responses kick in to promote survival. Microglia, part of that response, switches from “surveyor” to “attacker” or “Protector”. A complex symphony of pro-inflammatory mediation, anti-inflammatory mediation, interleukins, growth factors, cytokines, chemokins, reactive oxidation, glutamate, CGRP, tryptase, etc simultaneously attacking and protecting moving towards healing and returning to homeostasis.

But for some, homeostasis does not come or is postponed due to some dysfunction.  Perhaps it's a combination of genetics, source of stressor (type of virus, bacteria or toxin, the pesky EBV?), and organ specific attack (organ meaning location in the body cellularly where the attack occurs).

This variable combination of stress cascade results in unique diseases: ME/CFS, FM, NDPH, PTSD, GWI, POTS, EDS, some of them with overlapping symptoms.

There is speculation that in some combinations of this stress cascade, mitochondria in the microglia gets damaged or interrupted. This is commonly understood in HIV patients.  The virus disrupting the mitochondria leading to one of a number in a series of cascading deleterious events.

*note* (We are interested in funding a ten patient NDPH study of K-PAX Immune Support. A mitochondrial supplement developed by Nancy Klimas, Jose Montoya and others that in a study, significantly reduced neuropathic pain in HIV patients.)

If a stress cascade in NDPH patients causes organ specific mitochondrial dysfunction in microglia, perhaps the microglia may be chronically activated exerting a deleterious effect in part of the CNS producing this unique headache.

Let’s work together, fund research, follow the science and move forward.

Here to help,

Jeff Fowler

2 thoughts on “NDPH – Microglia, Mitochondria & Neuroinflammation”

  1. If this were to be the case, what would be the direction to take in treatment? Is there any known way to treat or cure this once the dysfunction has started?
    I’m feeling pretty desperate in regards to my son’s condition. He has had NDPH since he was 9 and he is now 26. I have written to you in the past abou him…there must be something that can help…. so far pot and the Cafaly device are all he has had any luck with, but they only seem to take off the edge. He is never headache free, and neverbeloe a 4 on a pain scale of 1-10…he considers 4 “livable”. He has migraine-Intensity headaches more days than not…he dropped out of college because the headaches got so bad, and he has turned down promotions in his current job because he doesn’t think he could handle the extended hours that would likely entail…he doesn’t have the energy to get into a Love-relationship…all areas of his life seem to be on hold…AND he still is cheerful and sweet, as he fights not to give into this miserable condition…
    Thanks, for listening…

    Pam Delaney-Hafter

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