Study of platelet activation in migraine: control by low doses of aspirin.
Although platelet activation is known to occur during migraine attacks, the cause-effect relationship remains to be determined. This problem was approached by studying the possible occurrence of platelet activation in vivo in headache-free periods of subjects affected by common or classic migraine and, subsequently, by verifying the possibility of its pharmacological control through administration of a classic anti-aggregation drug such as aspirin (ASA). The plasma levels of beta-thromboglobulin (beta-TG) and platelet factor 4 (PF4), indices of the occurrence of platelet activation in vivo, were therefore first assayed in both groups of migraine sufferers in the absence of therapy and then during the administration of aspirin (50 mg/daily). In the group of 15 patients affected by classic migraine, basal plasma levels of beta-TG and PF4 were significantly higher than control subjects. On the other hand, only beta-TG plasma levels were significantly higher in the group of 18 patients affected by common migraine. Patients suffering from classic migraine showed a high incidence of platelet activation (greater than 90%) in comparison with common migraine patients (approximately 33%). This suggests that platelet activation occurs in vivo in migrainous patients also during headache-free periods. Administration of aspirin to the patients affected by common and classic migraine caused a decrease in plasma beta-TG and PF4 concentration. Consequently, pharmacological treatment with aspirin in adequate dose may prove to be helpful in diminishing the vascular side-effects known to occur in migraine sufferers.
- Copyright © 1984 by American Heart Association