Document Detail

Altered activity of the sympathetic nervous system and changes in the balance of hypophyseal, pituitary and adrenal hormones in patients with cluster headache.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  8817538     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Twelve patients (age 43.4 +/- 6.3 years) with episodic cluster headache (CH) were examined during the cluster period. Plasma norepinephrine levels in patients suffering from CH were significantly decreased compared with the control group (p < 0.01). There were also statistically significant correlations between norepinephrine levels and clinical features of the pain attacks including duration (r = 0.75, p < 0.05), intensity (r = 0.64, p < 0.05) and frequency (r = 0.68, p < 0.06), thereby suggesting a pathophysiological involvement of the sympathetic nervous system in CH. Increased plasma levels of plasmacortisol and ACTH in patients with CH, especially in the morning and in the evening, suggest an alteration of the feedback circuit involving the hypothalamus, the pituitary and the adrenal gland, an imbalance in the hormones related to these structures, as well as an alteration of the circadian rhythm. In addition, CH patients demonstrated significantly decreased levels of norepinephrine (p < 0.05), HVA (p < 0.01) and 5-HIAA (p < 0.01) in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) consistent with a central genesis of CH. These significant relationships between neurochemical parameters and the clinical patterns suggest a complex interplay between the hypothalamus, neuroendocrinological parameters, activity of the autonomic nervous system and the pain of CH.
M Strittmatter; G F Hamann; M Grauer; C Fischer; F Blaes; K H Hoffmann; K Schimrigk
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Neuroreport     Volume:  7     ISSN:  0959-4965     ISO Abbreviation:  Neuroreport     Publication Date:  1996 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1996-12-10     Completed Date:  1996-12-10     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9100935     Medline TA:  Neuroreport     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1229-34     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Neurology, University of the Saarland, Homburg, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Adrenal Cortex Hormones / secretion*
Adrenocorticotropic Hormone / blood
Case-Control Studies
Catecholamines / blood,  cerebrospinal fluid
Cluster Headache / metabolism,  physiopathology*
Homovanillic Acid / cerebrospinal fluid
Hydrocortisone / blood
Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid / cerebrospinal fluid
Hypothalamus / physiopathology
Middle Aged
Pituitary Hormones / secretion*
Sympathetic Nervous System / physiopathology*
Vanilmandelic Acid / cerebrospinal fluid
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Adrenal Cortex Hormones; 0/Catecholamines; 0/Pituitary Hormones; 306-08-1/Homovanillic Acid; 50-23-7/Hydrocortisone; 54-16-0/Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid; 55-10-7/Vanilmandelic Acid; 9002-60-2/Adrenocorticotropic Hormone

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