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Papers of the Week

2020 Oct 30


Are Migraine Patients at Increased Risk for Symptomatic Coronavirus Disease 2019 Due to Shared Comorbidities?


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has rapidly transformed the whole world and forced us to look through comorbid diseases and risk factors from a different perspective. COVID-19 shows some inherent risk factors like cardiovascular comorbidities independent from age, gender, and geographic location. One of the most peculiar features of the COVID-19 pandemic is that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 respiratory infections disproportionately impact patients with hypertension, diabetes, and other cardiovascular comorbidities rather than those with allergic respiratory diseases and immune-compromised conditions. Migraine is a complex neuro-vasculo-inflammatory disorder that is also packed frequently with certain medical conditions including vascular disorders, hypertension, allergic diseases such as asthma and systemic inflammatory disorders. Accordingly, 2 different questions arise during the pandemic: (1) Do share comorbidities of cardiovascular diseases and hypertension increase the risk of symptomatic COVID-19 for migraine patients? (2) Do comorbid allergic and atopic diseases, including asthma act as opposite influencers alongside with female gender? This paper focuses on the co-existence of comorbidities of COVID-19, in comparison with migraine, based on a wide clinical dataset and available reports. Discussed mechanisms include potential strategic roles of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, angiotensin-II, and nucleotide oligomerization domain-like receptor family, pyrin domain containing 3 inflammasome, playing remarkable parts in the pathogenesis of COVID-19 and migraine. There are also some clues about the importance of endothelial and pericyte dysfunction and neuroinflammation in COVID-19 infection, related to complications and survival of the patients. The large epidemiological studies as well as basic research, focusing on migraine patients with COVID-19 will clarify these vital questions during the upcoming periods.