Transcranial sonography (TCS) signal alteration of brainstem raphe (BR) can be a biomarker for depression in migraine but is not associated with migraine headache itself, a new study found. Forty-two patients who had migraine without aura and 40 healthy controls were recruited for the study. Echogenicity of lentiform nuclei (LN), caudate nuclei (CN), substantia nigra (SN) and BR, width of the frontal horns of the lateral ventricles, and the third ventricle were assessed with TCS. Researchers found:
- There were no significant differences between migraineurs and controls in the width of front horn of the lateral ventricle, width of third ventricle, as well as in the echogenicity of SN, CN, LN and BR.
- More patients with migraine were detected with increased echogenicity of CN and LN compared with controls.
- Patients with hypoechogenic BR had significantly higher Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D) and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale depression subscale (HADS-D) scores than those with normal BR signal.
Tao WW, et al. Hypoechogenicity of brainstem raphe correlates with depression in migraine patients. [Published online ahead of print May 15, 2019]. J Headache Pain . doi: 10.1186/s10194-019-1011-2.