Ovarian Hormones and Migraine Headache: Understanding Mechanisms and Pathogenesis—Part 2

Authors

  • Vincent T. Martin MD,

  • Michael Behbehani PhD


  • From the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine Cincinnati, Ohio (Dr. Martin); and Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio (Dr. Behbehani)

Address all correspondence to Dr. Vincent T. Martin, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 231 Albert Sabin Way, ML 6603, Cincinnati, OH 45267-0535, USA.

Abstract

Migraine headache is strongly influenced by reproductive events that occur throughout the lifespan of women. Each of these reproductive events has a different “hormonal milieu,” which might modulate the clinical course of migraine headache. Estrogen and progesterone can be preventative or provocative for migraine headache under different circumstances depending on their absolute serum levels, constancy of exposure, and types of estrogen/progesterone derivatives. Attacks of migraine with and without aura respond differently to changes in ovarian hormones. Clearly a greater knowledge of ovarian hormones and their effect on migraine is essential to a greater understanding of the mechanisms and pathogenesis of migraine headache.

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