E-ISSN 2636-865X
Research Article
Orexin-A Levels in Episodic and Chronic Migraine: Implications For Hypothalamic Involvement?
1 Antalya Training and Research Hospital, Neurology, Antalya, Turkey  
2 Akdeniz University School of Medicine, Biochemistry, Antalya, Turkey  
3 Akdeniz Universty School of Medicine, Neurology, Antalya, Turkey  
Neurol Sci Neurophysiol 2016; 33: 56-63

Key Words: Orexin-A, Migraine

Objective: The aim of the study was to demonstrate whether blood Orexin A levels (OX-AL), which are a marker of hypothalamic activity, are altered in patients with migraine and whether they differ ictally and interictally and with the chronification of migraine.


Materials and Methods: A total of 113 patients participated in this study. Orexin A blood samples were taken during a headache-free interval. In 17 patients with episodic migraine a second blood sample for Orexin A was taken during an attack of migraine.


Results: OX-AL were lower in episodic migrane compared to controls but did not differ during an attack and the interictal period.


Conclusion: Our findings of low OX-AL in episodic migrane both ictally and interictally, similar levels of OX-AL in chronic migraine and tension-type headache compared to controls may suggest that OX-AL is probably not released in response to acute pain but its basal levels may modulate the susceptibility to pain. Basal OX-AL are low in patients with episodic migrane which could reflect a suppression of the orexinergic system due to hypothalamic dysfunction but increase with chronification possibly in response to lower Orexin-A receptor density secondary to neurodegeneration. Further larger studies may shed more light on the role of the orexinergic system and the hypothalamus in migraine and the chronification of it.

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