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Papers of the Week

2022 Aug 15




The Pathogenetic Role of Melatonin in Migraine and Its Theoretic Implications for Pharmacotherapy: A Brief Overview of the Research.


Migraine is a chronic disease of global concern, regardless of socio-economic and cultural background. It most often and intensely affects young adults, especially women. Numerous mechanisms of a migraine attack have been identified (disturbances in the reaction of vessels, functions of neurotransmitters, cortical neurons, ion channels, receptors, the process of neurogenic inflammation), and many of its symptoms can be explained by activation of the hypothalamus and disturbances in its communication with other brain regions (including the brainstem). Numerous neuropeptides and neurochemical systems also play a role in migraine. One of them is melatonin, a hormone that allows the body to adapt to cyclically changing environmental and food conditions. In this article, we present the pathophysiological basis of melatonin release from the pineal gland and other tissues (including the intestines) under the influence of various stimuli (including light and food), and its role in stimulating the brain structures responsible for triggering a migraine attack. We analyze publications concerning research on the role of melatonin in various headaches, in various stages of migraine, and in various phases of the menstrual cycle in women with migraine, and its impact on the occurrence and severity of migraine attacks. Melatonin as an internally secreted substance, but also present naturally in many foods. It is possible to supplement melatonin in the form of pharmaceutical preparations, and it seems, to be a good complementary therapy (due to the lack of significant side effects and pharmacological interactions) in the treatment of migraine, especially: in women of childbearing age, in people taking multiple medications for other diseases, as well as those sensitive to pharmacotherapy.