Background.— The protein s100b indicates astrocytal damage as well as dysfunction of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), and neuron-specific enolase (NSE) is regarded as a marker for neuronal cell loss. Recently, s100b was shown to be a potentially useful marker for migraine in children. In this study, we investigated the levels of s100b and NSE in adult migraineurs during and after migraine attacks in order to gain some more insight into migraine pathophysiology.
Methods.— Serum levels of s100b and NSE were measured in 21 migraineurs and compared with 21 healthy subjects matched by sex and age. In migraineurs, blood samples were taken during a migraine attack and following a pain-free period of 2-4 days.
Results.— During migraine attacks elevated s100b levels could be observed. Maximal concentrations were detected in the pain-free period after 2-4 days. Regarding NSE, serum levels were decreased slightly during and after migraine bouts.
Conclusions.— Our data suggest a prolonged disruption of BBB during and after migraine attacks. Other possible explanations concerning the detected serum levels of s100b and NSE will be discussed; however, neuronal cell death can be ruled out by the decreased serum concentrations of NSE. With regard to the results of the present study, further research is necessary to evaluate the role of s100b and NSE in migraine.