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Migraine and Cluster Headache and Neurosteroid Levels

Large and disease-specific changes in circulating neurosteroid levels are associated with chronic headache disorders, a new study found. 19 female patients affected by episodic migraine, 51 female patients affected by chronic migraine, and 18 males patients affected by cluster headache were included. Sex- and age-matched healthy control subjects were also recruited. Researchers found:

  • Disease-specific changes in neurosteroid levels were observed in the study groups.
  • Allopreganolone levels were significantly increased in episodic migraine and chronic migraine patients compared with control subjects, whereas they were reduced in patients affected by cluster headache.
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate levels were reduced in patients affected by chronic migraine, but did not change in those affected by cluster headache.


Koverech A, et al. Migraine and cluster headache show impaired neurosteroids patterns. [Published online ahead of print May 27, 2019]. J Headache Pain. doi: 10.1186/s10194-019-1005-0.