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Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2011 May;31(4):579-85. doi: 10.1007/s10571-011-9651-z. Epub 2011 Feb 4.

Elevated S100B and neuron specific enolase levels in patients with migraine-without aura: evidence for neurodegeneration?

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Department of Neurology, Medical Faculty, Akdeniz University, 07070, Antalya, Turkey.


Although migraine has mainly been considered as a benign disease, there is cumulative evidence of silent changes in the brain, brainstem, or cerebellum and subtle subclinical cerebellar dysfunction. In this study, in order to investigate a possible neuronal and/or glial damage at the cellular level in migraine, we measured and compared serum levels of S100B which is a protein marker of glial damage or activation, and neuron specific enolase (NSE) which is a marker of neuronal damage, in migraine patients and control subjects. Serum levels of S100B and NSE were measured in blood samples from 41 patients with migraine-without aura taken during a migraine attack (ictal) and in the attack-free period between migraine attacks (interictal) and 35 age- and sex-matched controls. Patients with migraine-without aura had significantly higher ictal serum levels of S100B and NSE (P < 0.05, for both) than control subjects; whereas in the interictal phase, there was a significant increment only in S100B levels (P < 0.05) compared to controls. On the other hand, serum levels of S100B and NSE in ictal and interictal blood samples did not differ significantly. The findings of increased ictal serum S100B and NSE levels together with increased interictal levels of S100B suggested that migraine might be associated with glial and/or neuronal damage in the brain and a prolonged disruption of blood-brain barrier. Increased interictal serum levels of S100B might point out to an insidious and slow damaging process in migraine patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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