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Papers: 16 Mar 2024 - 22 Mar 2024

2024 Mar 16

Brain Behav Immun


A 12-week randomized double-blind clinical trial of eicosapentaenoic acid intervention in episodic migraine.


Wang HF, Liu WC, Zailani H, Yang CC, Chen TB, Chang CM, Tsai IJ, Yang CP, Su KP


Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) may benefit migraine improvement, though prior studies are inconclusive. This study evaluated the effect of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) on episodic migraine (EM) prevention. Seventy individuals with EM participated in a 12-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial from March 2020 and May 2022. They were randomly assigned to either the EPA (N = 35, 2 g fish oil with 1.8 mg of EPA as a stand-alone treatment daily), or the placebo group (N = 35, 2 g soybean oil daily). Migraine frequency and headache severity were assessed using the monthly migraine days, visual analog scale (VAS), Migraine Disability Assessment (MIDAS), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Migraine-Specific Quality-of-Life Questionnaire (MSQ), and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) in comparison to baseline measurements. The EPA group significantly outperformed the placebo in reducing monthly migraine days (-4.4 ± 5.1 days vs. - 0.6 ± 3.5 days, p = 0.001), days using acute headache medication (-1.3 ± 3.0 days vs. 0.1 ± 2.3 days, p = 0.035), improving scores for headache severity (ΔVAS score: -1.3 ± 2.4 vs. 0.0 ± 2.2, p = 0.030), disability (ΔMIDAS score: -13.1 ± 16.2 vs. 2.6 ± 20.2, p = 0.001), anxiety and depression (ΔHADS score: -3.9 ± 9.4 vs. 1.1 ± 9.1, p = 0.025), and quality of life (ΔMSQ score: -11.4 ± 19.0 vs. 3.1 ± 24.6, p = 0.007). Notably, female particularly benefited from EPA, underscoring its potential in migraine management. In conclusion, high-dose EPA has significantly reduced migraine frequency and severity, improved psychological symptoms and quality of life in EM patients, and shown no major adverse events, suggesting its potential as a prophylactic for EM.