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Papers of the Week

2022 May 10

Brain Sci



Risk of Migraine in Europeans with Low Melanin Levels-A Population Based Case-Control Study.


Kobus M, Żądzińska E, Sitek A, Pełka J, Rożniecki JJ, Antoszewski B
Brain Sci. 2022 May 10; 12(5).
PMID: 35625007.


Populations with a relatively low concentration of melanin, e.g., inhabitants of Europe, North America, and Australia, are the most vulnerable to the harmful effects of UV radiation. Individuals with fair phototype are at greatest risk of developing skin cancer. Several neurological studies present that light skin may modify the risk of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. However, the relationship between migraine and skin pigmentation has not been investigated yet. The objective of this study is to provide evidence of the relationship between skin pigmentation and migraine prevalence in adults. We examined a group of 148 adults (33 men, 115 women) with migraine and a control group of 107 adults (43 men, 64 women). Parameters of skin pigmentation (melanin index, erythema index, CIElab, and RGB scales) were measured using a DSM II Cortex Technology dermospectrophotometer. Risk of migraine in lightly pigmented adults was elevated. Individuals with a low melanin index had over 3-fold increased risk of migraine (women: OR 3.53, men: OR 3.73). Fair phototype, which results from lightly pigmented skin, was associated with migraine prevalence. Migraineurs should take extra care to protect their skin from the negative effects of solar radiation.