Fascinating new research has put scientists on the cusp of developing a potential new blood test for migraines.
Certain Fats a Marker for Migraines in Women
The blood test would be based on a small study that suggests women who get migraines have different levels of certain fats in their blood than women who don’t get migraines.
Currently, patients are diagnosed with migraines on the basis of the symptoms they report, said study author Dr. B. Lee Peterlin, of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.
“In other words, there is no biomarker or blood test that can help us to differentiate” people who get migraines from those who do not, she said.
Lipid Study Focuses on Women with Episodic Migraines
In the study, the researchers tested the women’s blood samples for a class of lipids that had previously been shown to play a role in regulating energy balance and inflammation, according to the study.
The investigators found that the levels of lipids called ceramides were lower in the women with episodic migraines than in the women who did not have any headaches. It also turned out that women’s risk of migraines increased with higher levels of two types of a different lipid, called sphingomyelin.
These results suggest that the lipids examined in the study may be involved in causing migraines.
Scientists say they hope further lipid research in women will lead to a blood test that will diagnosis patients with migraines.
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