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Headache

Migraine linked to poor insulin sensitivity

13 years, 11 months ago

2408  0
Posted on Sep 16, 2005, 10 a.m. By Bill Freeman

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Patients with migraine show decreased sensitivity to insulin, the well-known blood sugar-lowering hormone, Italian investigators report in the medical journal Cephalalgia. This decreased sensitivity may explain the link between migraine and blood vessel diseases that has been described previously.

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Patients with migraine show decreased sensitivity to insulin, the well-known blood sugar-lowering hormone, Italian investigators report in the medical journal Cephalalgia. This decreased sensitivity may explain the link between migraine and blood vessel diseases that has been described previously.

Past studies have shown that migraine patients have an increased risk of developing high blood pressure, stroke, and other blood vessel-related diseases, Dr. Innocenzo Rainero from the Headache Centre at the University of Turin told Reuters Health. The reason for these associations was unclear.

Rainero and colleagues studied insulin sensitivity in 30 patients with migraine and 15 healthy comparison subjects.

At the start of the study, the groups had similar blood levels of insulin and sugar. When given a high-sugar drink, however, differences began to emerge. Blood sugar levels in the migraine patients remained much higher than those of comparison subjects for up to 3 hours after the high-sugar drink. In addition, other measures indicated that insulin sensitivity was impaired in the migraine group.

Our study provides a possible mechanism linking migraine and blood vessel disorders, Rainero said. Moreover, the results suggest that "strategies improving insulin sensitivity may be helpful in migraine."

Regular physical activity improves insulin sensitivity, he noted "and should be explored as a potential (treatment) in migraine care. In addition, several insulin sensitizing drugs are now commercially available and these drugs could be tested" for preventing migraine, the investigator added.

SOURCE: Cephalalgia, August 2005.



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