Decreased serum and intracellular levels of magnesium have been reported in patients with migraine. It has been suggested that magnesium may play an important role in the attacks and pathogenesis of headaches. We measured ionized magnesium cyclic AMP (adenosine monophosphate), and cyclic GMP (guanosine monophosphate) in platelets of patients with migraine in patients with tension-type headache, and in healthy controls. The platelet level of ionized magnesium from patients with tension-type headache was significantly lower than the levels from the other two groups. The platelet level of cyclic AMP from patients with migraine was higher than those from the other groups. We found no significant differences in the platelet cyclic GMP levels among the three groups. It is suggested that reduced platelet ionized magnesium in patients with tension-type headache is related to abnormal platelet function, and that increased platelet cyclic AMP in patients with migraine is related to alteration of neurotransmitters in the platelet.