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Papers of the Week

Papers: 13 May 2023 - 19 May 2023

Review, Sex/Gender/Race

Human Studies, Neurobiology

Migraine/Headache, Psychological/Comorbidities

2023 May 09

Aging Dis


Different Aspects of Aging in Migraine.


Fila M, Pawlowska E, Szczepanska J, Blasiak J


Migraine is a common neurological disease displaying an unusual dependence on age. For most patients, the peak intensity of migraine headaches occurs in 20s and lasts until 40s, but then headache attacks become less intense, occur less frequently and the disease is more responsive to therapy. This relationship is valid in both females and males, although the prevalence of migraine in the former is 2-4 times greater than the latter. Recent concepts present migraine not only as a pathological event, but rather as a part of evolutionary adaptive response to protect organism against consequences of stress-induced brain energy deficit. However, these concepts do not fully explain that unusual dependence of migraine prevalence on age. Many aspects of aging, both molecular/cellular and social/cognitive, are interwound in migraine pathogenesis, but they neither explain why only some persons are affected by migraine, nor suggest any causal relationship. In this narrative/hypothesis review we present information on associations of migraine with chronological aging, brain aging, cellular senescence, stem cell exhaustion as well as social, cognitive, epigenetic, and metabolic aging. We also underline the role of oxidative stress in these associations. We hypothesize that migraine affects only individuals who have inborn, genetic/epigenetic, or acquired (traumas, shocks or complexes) migraine predispositions. These predispositions weakly depend on age and affected individuals are more prone to migraine triggers than others. Although the triggers can be related to many aspects of aging, social aging may play a particularly important role as the prevalence of its associated stress has a similar age-dependence as the prevalence of migraine. Moreover, social aging was shown to be associated with oxidative stress, important in many aspects of aging. In perspective, molecular mechanisms underlying social aging should be further explored and related to migraine with a closer association with migraine predisposition and difference in prevalence by sex.