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Serum vitamin B12, folic acid and ferritin levels in patients with migraine [Turk J Neurol]
Turk J Neurol. 2011; 17(2): 90-95

Serum vitamin B12, folic acid and ferritin levels in patients with migraine

Abdullah Acar1, Osman Evliyaoğlu2, Ertuğrul Uzar1, Yavuz Yücel1, Mehmet Uğur Çevik1, Işıl Güzel1, Leyla Çolpan2, Nebahat Taşdemir1
1Dicle University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neurology, Diyarbakır, Turkey
2Dicle University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry, Diyarbakır, Turkey

OBJECTIVE: It has been reported that disability due to migraine may be reduced with homocysteine-lowering treatment including folic acid and vitamin B12. In addition, recently the periaqueductal gray matter iron deposits have been found to be increased in migraine patients. There are few studies regarding vitamin B12, folic acid, ferritin and transferrin levels in patients with migraine. The aims of this study was to measure vitamin B12, folic acid, ferritin and transferrin levels in patients with migraine and compare them with the control group.
METHODS: Fifty-one consecutive newly diagnosed migraine patients who did not receive any vitamin supplement medication were enrolled. The study group consisted of 51 patients, suffering from migraine with aura (n= 23) and migraine without aura (n= 28). The control group consisted of 28 healthy participants without history of headache, anemia and vitamin supplement. Serum vitamin B12, folic acid, ferritin and transferin levels were measured using a chemiluminescence method.
RESULTS: Migraine patients had significantly lower concentrations of vitamin B12 and folic acid compared with the healthy controls (for vitamin B12; 215.6±133.7 pg/ml vs. 289.9±12 pg/ml, respectively, p=0.005; for folic acid; 6.74 ± 4.31 pg/ml vs. 8.47 ± 1.85 pg/ml, respectively, p=0.048). The vitamin B12 levels were found to be significantly lower during attacks in migraine patients than in interictal periods (177.3 ± 139.2 pg/ml vs 252.5 ± 119.5 pg/ml, p=0.043). There were no differences in folic acid, ferritin, and transferritin levels between during attacks and in interictal period of patients with migraine (p>0.05). The ferritin levels were found to be significantly lower during attacks in migraine patients than in interictal periods (43.4 ± 41.1 mg/ml, vs 75.4 ± 51.7, mg/ml, p=0.018).
CONCLUSION: Migraine patients had lower serum vitamin B12 and folic acid levels than healthy subjects. These findings supported that vitamin B12 and folic acid may have a role in migraine pathogenesis and they may be given in migraine prophylaxis. Also, this study indicated that iron homeostasis was disturbed in migraine attacks.

Keywords: Migraine, pathogenesis, vitamin B12, folic acid, ferritin


Abdullah Acar, Osman Evliyaoğlu, Ertuğrul Uzar, Yavuz Yücel, Mehmet Uğur Çevik, Işıl Güzel, Leyla Çolpan, Nebahat Taşdemir. Serum vitamin B12, folic acid and ferritin levels in patients with migraine. Turk J Neurol. 2011; 17(2): 90-95

Corresponding Author: Abdullah Acar, Türkiye


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