Allergens might trigger migraine attacks

Acta Neurol Belg. 2017 Mar;117(1):91-95. doi: 10.1007/s13760-016-0645-y. Epub 2016 May 3.


Migraine is a common primary headache disorder. The mechanisms underlying the onset of a migraine attack are not completely understood. Environmental changes and a number of other factors could induce migraine attacks. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between the frequency of migraine attacks and allergens. Migraine patients without aura, and healthy individuals similar in age and gender without a history of headache and allergy were prospectively included in the study. The duration of migraine, the frequency of migraine attacks, the medication history, and the symptoms during attacks were questioned. Migraine disability assessment score (MIDAS) and visual analog scale (VAS) scores were obtained. Allergen extracts including dust, fungi, insect, animal epithelium, pollens, and food allergens were applied for allergy tests. 49 migraine patients and 49 healthy individuals were enrolled in the study. There was no significant difference in terms of age and gender. The median migraine disease duration, the number of attacks in a month, and the duration of attacks were, respectively, 5.5 years (1-44), 4 (1-10) day/month, and 24 (4-72) h. The mean MIDAS grade was 2.45 ± 0.14 (1-4), and mean VAS score was 7.89 ± 0.27 (4-10). The positivity of allergy tests was 55.1 % (27/49) in the migraine group and 32.7 % (16/49) in the control group (p < 0.05). The allergy tests were positive for house dust, red birch, hazel tree, olive tree, nettle, and wheat. The frequency of migraine attacks was higher in allergy-test-positive patients than in negative ones in the migraine group (p = 0.001). The migraine patients who had frequent attacks should be examined for allergies.

Keywords: Allergy; MIDAS; Migraine.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Allergens / adverse effects*
  • Allergens / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / complications*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / immunology*
  • Young Adult


  • Allergens