Med Hypotheses 1996 (Dec); 47 (6): 461–466
San Diego, CA 92109, USA
Although the pathogenesis of migraine is still poorly understood, various clinical investigations, as well as consideration of the characteristic activities of the wide range of drugs known to reduce migraine incidence, suggest that such phenomena as neuronal hyperexcitation, cortical spreading depression, vasospasm, platelet activation and sympathetic hyperactivity often play a part in this syndrome. Increased tissue levels of taurine, as well as increased extracellular magnesium, could be expected to dampen neuronal hyperexcitation, counteract vasospasm, increase tolerance to focal hypoxia and stabilize platelets; taurine may also lessen sympathetic outflow. Thus it is reasonable to speculate that supplemental magnesium taurate will have preventive value in the treatment of migraine. Fish oil, owing to its platelet-stabilizing and antivasospastic actions, may also be useful in this regard, as suggested by a few clinical reports. Although many drugs have value for migraine prophylaxis, the two nutritional measures suggested here may have particular merit owing to the versatility of their actions, their safety and lack of side-effects and their long-term favorable impact on vascular health.