Cerebrospinal fluid tyrosine and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid levels in migraine patients


José Castillo, Servicio de Neurologia, Hospital General de Galicia, Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Tel. +34 981 540000 fax. + 34 981 570102.


We studied biochemical parameters related with central dopaminergic neurotransmission in migraine patients during crisis. We determined tyrosine and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) levels in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of 47 patients, 29 suffering migraine without aura and 18 suffering migraine with aura, comparing them with 27 control subjects. Tyrosine levels did not differ significantly between patients and controls. The CSF concentration of DOPAC was 0.73±0.55 ng/ml in the control population, 3.84±2.08 ng/ml in patients with migraine without aura and 3.30±l.49ng/ml in patients suffering migraine with aura. The concentration of DOPAC correlated positively with the intensity of headache. These results suggest that patients with migraine have a central dopaminergic hyperfunction, probably related to a coexisting central dysfunction of noradrenergic neurotransmision.