Potential New Biomarker Discovered for Episodic Migraine Headaches

Dr. John Fritz dedicates much of his Jersey City family practice to the treatment of patients with migraine headaches. To this end, Dr. John Fritz of Jersey City maintains an up-to-date knowledge of migraines, their pathology, and their potential treatments.

According to recent research, levels of a certain lipid in the blood may indicate whether a patient is suffering from episodic migraines or from headaches with another cause. The study in question followed 52 women with 15 or fewer headache days per month, as well as 36 women who did not experience headaches. Researchers recorded each participant’s body mass index and analyzed a blood sample to test for a class of lipid known as ceramides.

Investigators discovered that participants with migraines had approximately 4,500 nanograms per millimeter fewer ceramides in their blood as compared to headache-free participants. Furthermore, the study confirmed that each increase in standard deviation of blood ceramide levels represented a 92 percent lower risk of having migraine headaches. Researchers tested these results by analyzing blood samples of 14 participants for ceramide levels. Using this data, they were able to correctly identify which of these individuals suffered from migraines, thus indicating the potential for ceramide analysis as a test for episodic migraines.