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Melatonin may prevent migraines

Melatonin, secreted by the pineal gland in the brain, is also effective for migraine prevention.

Melatonin may prevent migraines

Melatonin, secreted by the pineal gland in the brain and involved in regulating the circadian cycle, is also effective for migraine prevention. There is increasing evidence that melatonin secretion is related to headache disorders. Altered melatonin levels have been found in cluster headache, migraine with and without aura, menstrual migraine, and chronic migraine. Researchers from the Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, in Sao Paulo, tested the effectiveness of melatonin for preventing migraine, with or without aura, in 34 sufferers. The participants were given 3 milligrams of melatonin 30 minutes before bedtime. Among the 32 subjects who completed the study, 25 experienced at least a 50 percent reduction in headache frequency after three months of treatment. Specifically, eight patients had a complete response, seven had more than a 75 percent reduction in headache frequency, and ten had between 50 percent and 75 percent reduction. No increase in headaches was seen. Melatonin also decreased headache intensity and duration, and overall use of painkillers and drugs to treat a migraine decreased. Based on the above findings, the researchers suggested that a controlled study would be worthwhile, in which melatonin could be compared with a placebo treatment.
Neurology,
August 2004
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