Clinical Implications on the Influence of the Microbiome on Migraine Regulation: Blanca Marquez de Prado, PhD


The research project manager of the headache program at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia discussed data that suggest that an unhealthy and imbalanced microbiome may exacerbate the frequency, severity, and duration of migraines. [WATCH TIME: 4 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 4 minutes

"I think we need to figure out a way to see what patients are going to benefit from trying to regular the microbiome—whether it’s changes in their diet, or their body weight, or with adding probiotics, and which ones are not going to be able to. We need a way of figuring out [if] this is a patient that is going to be benefiting from those changes and [if] this is a patient where their migraines are not really going to be influenced by it.’"

Recent research suggests a bidirectional relationship between the gastrointestinal (GI) system and the central nervous system that might have implications for conditions such as migraine. Adding to this is that findings from studies have also suggested that migraine is associated with some GI disorders.1,2 As for the prevention of migraine and reducing attacks, it has been proposed that improved dietary approaches with including appropriate consumption diet and probiotics, as well as weight loss dietary plans, can have beneficial effects on gut microbiota.1

At the 2023 American Headache Society (AHS) Annual Meeting, June 15 to 18, in Austin, Texas, Blanca Marquez de Prado, PhD, a research project manager of the headache program at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, gave a talk in a plenary session on the gut-brain interaction regarding the microbiome and migraine. In her presentation, she talked about the implications of microbiome, reviewing research from studies that show the influence of microbiome on patients with migraine.

Prior to the session, Marquez de Prado sat down in an interview with NeurologyLive® at the meeting to discuss some of the talking points she was planning to highlight. She talked about how the health of the microbiome affects the regulation of migraine in both animal models and patients, and she spoke about factors that contribute to microbiome dysregulation, and how that may vary among patients with migraine. In addition, she shared some steps that can be taken to help with identifying which patients will benefit from microbiome-focused interventions and more personalized treatment strategies.

Click here for more coverage of AHS 2023.

1. Arzani M, Jahromi SR, Ghorbani Z, et al. Gut-brain Axis and migraine headache: a comprehensive review. J Headache Pain. 2020;21(1):15. Published 2020 Feb 13. doi:10.1186/s10194-020-1078-9
2. Socała K, Doboszewska U, Szopa A, et al. The role of microbiota-gut-brain axis in neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders. Pharmacol Res. 2021;172:105840. doi:10.1016/j.phrs.2021.105840
3. Marquez de Prado B. "I Have a Gut Feeling" Systemic Contributions to Headache (GI/Diet): Microbiome. Presented at: AHS Annual Meeting, 2023; June 15-18; Austin, TX. Plenary Session.

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