July 20, 2024

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Messenger substance CGRP: Women often suffer from migraines during menstruation

Messenger substance CGRP: Women often suffer from migraines during menstruation

The messenger substance is CGRP

This is why many women suffer from migraines during menstruation

Women suffer from migraines more often than men. Another reason: In migraine sufferers, levels of the inflammatory messenger CGRP increase during this period.


Due to a certain messenger substance, women often suffer from migraines during menstruation.


  • Women suffer from migraines more often than men.

  • Many women complain of severe headaches, especially during menstruation.

  • According to the Charité University Hospital, a special messenger substance is responsible for this.

From six Eight percent are men Further Women are twice as likely to suffer from migraines. Berlin scientists have now identified the cause of pain attacks in women during menopause: increased endogenous production of the inflammatory messenger CGRP, which serves as the starting point for the most modern migraine medication.

“Women are up Three times more likely to suffer from migraines as men. They experience particularly numerous and violent attacks around the menstrual period, but also when menstruation begins. On the other hand, symptoms improve in many cases during pregnancy, and migraine attacks are less common after menopause. Hormonal fluctuations have long been known to be associated with migraines,” says a letter from the Berlin University Hospital Foundation. But the exact cause is still unclear.

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Hormonal fluctuations release messenger substances

Berlin neurologists have published current research on the open question in the journal “Neurology.” “We have evidence from an animal model that fluctuations in female hormones – especially estrogen – lead to increased release of the inflammatory messenger CGRP in the brain,” explained Bianca Raffaelli, head of the study at the Neurology Hospital’s Headache Center at Experimental Neurology. at the Charité Campus Mitte.

Using a total of 180 women as subjects, the research team examined whether the relationship between female hormones and CGRP release held true in humans. To do this, the scientists measured CGRP levels in migraine sufferers at two times during the cycle, i.e. during menstrual bleeding and ovulation.

A Comparison with women without migraine Proven: During menopause, the concentration of CGRP in migraine sufferers is significantly higher than in healthy individuals. “So when estrogen levels drop to start menstruation, migraine sufferers release more CGRP,” said Bianca Raffaelli. “This explains why affected women experience more migraine attacks just before and before menstruation.”

Fewer migraines due to the pill

These hormone-related fluctuations did not appear in women on the pill. Berlin neurologist: “In fact, taking the pill and the end of menopause can provide relief for some migraine sufferers. However, as can be seen from our study, there are women who get migraines even without hormonal fluctuations. We suspect that other processes in the body play a role in causing the attacks. . because CGRP is not the only inflammatory peptide that can trigger migraine.”

The results of the study may have implications for the prevention and acute treatment of migraine in women. Over the years there have been newly recognized monoclonal antibodies against the CGRP mechanism in the development of migraine. Oral drugs that directly target the CGRP or peptide receptor are also currently in development.

(Heute.at/bho)See comments