Intracellular and plasma magnesium in familial hemiplegic migraine and migraine with and without aura


MD Ferrari, Department of Neurology, University Hospital, PO Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands.


Familial hemiplegic migraine (FHM) is an autosomal dominant type of migraine and probably represents the most extreme end of migraine with aura. Reduced magnesium facilitates the development of spreading depression and possibly aura. Cellular magnesium levels are under genetic control. We hypothesized that FHM patients would have significantly reduced intracellular magnesium levels. We determined intracellular and plasma magnesium levels in blood of 38 afflicted and 11 non-afflicted members of three families with FHM and, in 32 migraine patients (9 with and 23 without aura) and 32 age and sex matched healthy controls. We found no significant differences between the magnesium levels in the five study groups. We conclude that reduced blood magnesium is unlikely to be related to migraine pathophysiology.