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Headache. 2002 Apr;42(4):242-8.

Serum ionized magnesium levels and serum ionized calcium/ionized magnesium ratios in women with menstrual migraine.

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New York Headache Center, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn 11203, USA.



It has been suggested that magnesium deficiency may play an important role in menstrual migraine and that the serum ionized calcium (ICa2+)/ionized magnesium (IMg2+) ratio is important in migraine headache. Studies were designed to test these hypotheses.


We prospectively evaluated 270 women seen at a headache clinic and in 61 women with menstrual migraine measured IMg2+, total magnesium, and ICa2+ levels so as to calculate the ICa2+/IMg2+ ratio.


The incidences of IMg2+ deficiency were 45% during menstrual attacks, 15% during nonmenstrual attacks, 14% during menstruation without a migraine, and 15% between menstruations and between migraine attacks. The serum ICa2+ levels were within our reference range, but the ICa2+/IMg2+ ratio was elevated (P<.01) in menstrual migraine.


The high incidence of IMg2+ deficiency and the elevated ICa2+/IMg2+ ratio during menstrual migraine confirm previous suggestions of a possible role for magnesium deficiency in the development of menstrual migraine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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