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Papers of the Week

Papers: 14 Dec 2019 - 20 Dec 2019

Human Studies



Front Neurol


A Possible Role of Amyloidogenic Blood Clotting in the Evolving Haemodynamics of Female Migraine-With-Aura: Results From a Pilot Study.


Migraine is a debilitating primary headache disorder with a poorly understood aetiology. An extensive body of literature supports the theory of migraine as a systemic vascular inflammatory disorder characterised by endothelial dysfunction. It is also well-known that chronic inflammation results in an excessive burden of oxidative stress and therefore cellular dysfunction. In this study the effects of excessive oxidative stress through the phases of female migraine-with-aura (FMA) were evaluated by examining the health of the systems of haemostasis. Blood was obtained from 11 FMA patients at baseline and during the headache phase of migraine, as well as from 8 healthy age-matched female controls. Samples were analysed using thromboelastography (TEG) to evaluate viscoelastic profiles, light microscopy for erythrocyte morphology, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) for erythrocyte and fibrin clot structure, confocal microscopy for β-amyloid detection in fibrin clots. Viscoelastic profiles from platelet poor plasma showed decreased clot reaction times in FMA at baseline (95% CI [5.56, 8.41]) vs. control (95% CI [7.22, 11.68]); as well as decreased time to maximum thrombus generation for the same comparison (95% CI [6.78, 10.20] vs. [8.90, 12.96]). Morphological analysis of erythrocytes indicated widespread macrocytosis, poikilocytosis and eryptosis in the migraineurs. Analysis of fibrin networks indicated that this hypercoagulability may be a result of aberrant fibrin polymerisation kinetics caused by the adoption of a β-amyloid conformation of fibrin(ogen). The results reaffirm the hypercoagulable state in migraine, and would suggest that this state is most likely a result of a systemic inflammatory state which induces oxidative damage to both erythrocytes and fibrin(ogen) in female episodic migraine-with-aura. Furthermore, if the amylodogenic changes to fibrin(ogen) were observed in a larger cohort, this would support theories of micro-embolisation in migraine-with-aura.