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Migraine Biomarker Discovered

Migraine Biomarker Discovered
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By    |   Thursday, 10 September 2015 02:02 PM

Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered a new blood biomarker for migraines — a finding that could help explain why they occur and improve diagnosis and treatment approaches.

The findings, published in Neurology, are based on blood tests of 52 women who experienced episodic migraine, along with 36 participants who don’t suffer from the chronic headaches, Medical News Today reports.

The blood samples were analyzed for a specific group of lipids known as ceramides linked to inflammation in the brain. Among the women with episodic migraines, the researchers found that total levels of ceramides were decreased in comparison with the women who did not report having headaches.

"While more research is needed to confirm these initial findings, the possibility of discovering a new biomarker for migraine is exciting," said B. Lee Peterlin, a researcher with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

About one in four American households have a member who suffers migraines, which can lead to depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, and fatigue. The American Migraine Foundation estimates that migraines cost the U.S. more than $20 billion each year in medical and indirect expenses.

In an editorial accompanying the study, Karl Ekbom, M.D., of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, called the findings significant for the diagnosis and treatment of the brain disorder.

"This study is a very important contribution to our understanding of the underpinnings of migraine and may have wide-ranging effects in diagnosing and treating migraine if the results are replicated in further studies," he said.

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Johns Hopkins scientists have discovered a new blood biomarker for migraines - a finding that could help explain why they occur and improve diagnosis and treatment approaches.
migraine, biomarker, blood, test, headache
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2015-02-10
Thursday, 10 September 2015 02:02 PM
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