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Keywords:

  • migraine;
  • serotonin transporter;
  • polymorphism;
  • depression;
  • chronification

(Headache 2010;50:420-430)

Background.— The serotonergic system is thought to play an important role for mediating susceptibility to migraine and depression, which is frequently found comorbid in migraine. The functional polymorphism in the serotonin transporter gene linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR/SLC6A4) was previously associated with attack frequency and, thus, possibly with chronification.

Objective.— We hypothesized that patients with the “s” allele have higher attack frequency and, paralleling results in depression research, higher scores of depression.

Methods.— Genetic analysis of the SLC6A4 44 bp insertion/deletion polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) was performed in 293 patients with migraine with and without aura. Self-rating questionnaires were used for assessment of depression.

Results.— Multinomial logistic regression analysis found no evidence for association of the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism with either depression or migraine attack frequency.

Conclusion.— We were not able to demonstrate any influence of the serotonin transporter 5-HTTLPR polymorphism on migraine phenomenology (attack frequency or comorbid depression), thereby excluding this variant to be a common genetic denominator for chronic migraine and depression.