Serotonergic, catecholaminergic, and cardiovascular reactions to mental stress in female migraine patients. A controlled study

Headache. 1998 Apr;38(4):270-80. doi: 10.1046/j.1526-4610.1998.3804270.x.


This study aimed at the combined assessment of the serotonergic and sympathetic nervous system reactions of migraine patients before, during, and after the induction of mental stress in order to detect the possible role of these reactions in inducing a migraine attack. The responses to mental stress of the migraine patients were compared to a group of patients suffering from tension headache and a control group. Activation of the sympathoadrenomedullary system due to mental stress was successfully induced in the migraine patients (n = 23), in the tension headache patients (n = 18), and in the control group (n = 22). The results of this study present evidence of increased cardiovascular activity in migraine patients as compared to nonmigraineurs. However, no evidence was found of a specific serotonergic, sympathoadrenomedullary, or cerebrovascular response of migraine patients to mental stress as compared to nonmigraineurs.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blood Platelets / chemistry
  • Blood Pressure
  • Catecholamines / blood*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / blood*
  • Migraine Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Migraine Disorders / psychology
  • Muscles / physiopathology
  • Serotonin / blood*
  • Stress, Psychological / blood*
  • Stress, Psychological / physiopathology*
  • Temporal Arteries / physiopathology


  • Catecholamines
  • Serotonin