Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Blood levels of fat cell hormone may predict severity of migraines

Date:
March 18, 2013
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Summary:
In a small, preliminary study of regular migraine sufferers, scientists have found that measuring a fat-derived protein called adiponectin (ADP) before and after migraine treatment can accurately reveal which headache victims felt pain relief.

In a small, preliminary study of regular migraine sufferers, scientists have found that measuring a fat-derived protein called adiponectin (ADP) before and after migraine treatment can accurately reveal which headache victims felt pain relief.

A report on the study of people experiencing two to 12 migraine headaches per month, led by researchers at Johns Hopkins, is published in the March issue of the journal Headache.

"This study takes the first steps in identifying a potential biomarker for migraine that predicts treatment response and, we hope, can one day be used as a target for developing new and better migraine therapies," says study leader B. Lee Peterlin, D.O., an associate professor of neurology and director of headache research at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She cautioned that larger, confirmatory studies are needed for that to happen.

Experts estimate that roughly 36 million Americans, or 12 percent of the population, suffer from debilitating migraine headaches that last four hours or longer. Migraines are defined as headaches with at least two of four special characteristics: unilateral or one-side-of-the-head occurrence; moderately to severely painful; aggravated by routine activity and of a pounding or throbbing nature. Sufferers generally also feel nauseated or are sensitive to light and sound. Women are three times as likely to get migraines as men.

Such complicated diagnostic criteria mean that diagnosis is tricky, a fact driving efforts, Peterlin says, to find better diagnostic tools.

For the study, Peterlin and her colleagues collected blood from 20 women who visited three headache clinics between December 2009 and January 2012 during an acute migraine attack. Blood was taken before treatment with either sumatriptan/naproxen sodium (a drug routinely given to people with migraines) or a placebo. The investigators re-drew blood at 30, 60 and 120 minutes after the study drug was given. Eleven women received the drug and nine got the placebo.

The researchers measured blood levels of ADP, a protein hormone secreted from fat tissue and known to modulate several of the pain pathways implicated in migraine. The hormone is also implicated in sugar metabolism, insulin regulation, immunity and inflammation, as well as obesity, which is a risk factor for migraines.

Peterlin and her colleagues looked at total adiponectin levels and two subtypes or fragments of total ADP in circulation in the blood: low molecular weight (LMW)-adiponectin and high molecular weight (HMW)-adiponectin. LMW is composed of small fragments of ADP and it is known to have anti-inflammatory properties, while HMW is made up of larger fragments of ADP and is known to have pro-inflammatory properties. Inflammatory pathways in blood vessels in the head are at work in migraine headache.

The researchers found that in all 20 participants when levels of LMW increased, the severity of pain decreased. When the ratio of HMW to LMW molecules increased, the pain severity increased.

"The blood tests could predict response to treatment," Peterlin says.

At onset of pain -- even before study drug was given -- the researchers could identify who would be a responder to treatment and who would not, as there was a greater ratio of HMW to LMW in those who would be responders as compared to those who were not.

After study treatment changes in adiponectin were also seen. Interestingly, in those patients who reported less pain after receiving study drug to treat the migraine -- whether they got the active migraine medication or a placebo -- researchers were able to see a decrease in total levels of ADP in the blood.

Peterlin says the findings indicate it may be possible to develop a treatment that would reduce levels of ADP or parts of adiponectin such as HMW or LMW adiponectin. She says should ADP prove to be a biomarker for migraine, it could help physicians identify who has migraine and know who is likely to respond to which type of medication. It also may help doctors make better medication choices and try alternate drugs sooner.

The study was supported by a grant from GlaxoSmithKline and from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (K23 10896737).

Other Johns Hopkins researchers who contributed to the study include Linda W. White, C.R.N.P.; Paul D. Dash, M.D.; Edward R. Hammond, M.D., M.P.H.; and Jennifer A. Haythornwaite, Ph.D.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. B. Lee Peterlin, Gretchen E. Tietjen, Barbara A. Gower, Thomas N. Ward, Stewart J. Tepper, Linda W. White, Paul D. Dash, Edward R. Hammond, Jennifer A. Haythornthwaite. Ictal Adiponectin Levels in Episodic Migraineurs: A Randomized Pilot Trial. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 2013; 53 (3): 474 DOI: 10.1111/head.12071

Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medicine. "Blood levels of fat cell hormone may predict severity of migraines." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130318131205.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medicine. (2013, March 18). Blood levels of fat cell hormone may predict severity of migraines. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130318131205.htm
Johns Hopkins Medicine. "Blood levels of fat cell hormone may predict severity of migraines." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130318131205.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Herman Goldman has worked at the same lighting store for almost 75 years. Find out his secrets to a happy, productive life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patient Apparently Improving, Outbreak Is Not

American Ebola Patient Apparently Improving, Outbreak Is Not

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Nancy Writebol, an American missionary who contracted Ebola, is apparently getting better, according to her husband. The outbreak, however, is not. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins