Blood Levels in Fat Cells May Help Predict Migraine

A new study appearing in the journal Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, looks at people experiencing two to twelve migraine headaches a month. In this study researchers found that measuring a fat-derived protein called adiponectin before and after migraine treatment is useful in revealing if headache patients felt pain relief or not. The researchers of the study are hopeful that finding this potential biomarker for migraine of adiponectin may be used for developing new and better migraine treatment options.

Finding better treatment options for migraine sufferers is lucrative because roughly 36 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches which can last longer than 4 hours at a time. Women are three times to get migraines when compared to men.

In the study the researchers collected blood from 20 women who visited 3 different headache clinics for an acute migraine attack during a period of a few years. The women had their blood taken before treatment with sumatriptan or naproxen sodium or a placebo. The researchers drew blood at 30, 60, and 120 minutes after the drug was given. The researchers then looked at blood levels of adiponectin along with two subtypes or fragments of total adiponectin in circulation: 1)  low molecular weight (LMW)-adiponectin and high molecular weight (HMW)-adiponectin.

The researchers found that when all 20 women in the study had levels of LMW that increased, the severity of their pain decreased.  Further, when the ratio of HMW to LWM increase, the pain severity increased. The researchers believe that reducing levels of adiponectin or targeting the 2 subtypes of adiponectin may be a useful strategy for a new medication that can be helpful for those who suffer from migraine.

Of course also looking at potential other causes for LMW to increase can also be useful for migraine suffers.

Source: B. Lee Peterlin, Gretchen E. Tietjen, Barbara A. Gower, Thomas N. Ward, Stewart J. Tepper, Linda W. White, Paul D. Dash, Edward R. Hammond, Jennifer A. Haythornthwaite. Ictal Adiponectin Levels in Episodic Migraineurs: A Randomized Pilot Trial. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 2013; 53

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