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January2014 Vol.51 Issue:        1        Table of Contents
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Prophylactic Drugs and Cytokine Levels in Migraineurs

Al Metwally A. Youssof1, Abdelazim M. Reda1, Rania S. Ismail1, Marwa S. Farhan2

Departments of Neurology1, Clinical Pathology2, Cairo University; Egypt


Background: There is considerable evidence suggesting that cytokines may play a role in mediating neurovascular inflammation associated with migraine headaches. Objective:  To investigate plasma levels of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in migraineurs and healthy controls and the relationship between these levels and clinical responses   after prophylactic therapy. Methods: Fifty newly diagnosed migraine patients and 45 healthy controls were enrolled. Serum levels of pro-inflammatory (TNF-alpha and IL-6) and anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-2, and IL-10) of migraineurs were investigated to determine the role of cytokines in migraine, and the relationship between these levels and clinical responses after prophylactic therapy with one or more of four drugs.  Results: Migraineurs had significantly higher concentrations of TNF-α and IL-6 compared with controls (for TNF-α; 1.78±0.92 (ictally) and 1.06±0.50 pg/mL (interictally) )vs. (0.64±0.60 pg/mL), p=0.003 and 0.008 respectively; for IL-6; 2.23±0.60 (ictally) and 1.17±0.49 pg/mL (interictally) vs. (0.57±0.51pg/mL), p =0.000 and 0.004, respectively .The mean IL-10 levels were found to be significantly lower in migraineurs (3.20±1.14 pg/mL (ictally) and 3.41±1.08pg/mL interictally)) than controls (5.92±1.19 pg/mL) (p =0.008 and 0.005). There were no difference in IL-2 levels between migraineurs and controls (0.14±0.12 (ictally) and 0.15± 0.13 pg/mL (interictally)) vs. (0.12±0.10 pg/mL) respectively Conclusion: Migraineurs had higher serum level of IL-6 & TNF-α and lower IL-10 levels than healthy individuals. These findings supported that cytokines may be involved in neurogenic inflammation and the pathogenesis of migraine. One of the potential mechanisms of actions of the migraine prophylaxis drugs might be related to their effects on different cytokines. [Egypt J Neurol Psychiat Neurosurg.  2014; 51(1): 79-87]

Key words: Migraine, Cytokine, Pathogenesis & Prophylactic drugs.

Correspondence to Al Metwally A. Youssof, Department of Neurology, Cairo University, Egypt.Tel.: +201006883699


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