What is the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in the pathogenesis of migraine?

Updated: Aug 15, 2019
  • Author: William C Robertson, Jr, MD; Chief Editor: Amy Kao, MD  more...
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Many migraine families demonstrate a predominant maternal inheritance pattern that may be caused by mitochondrial dysfunction. Migraine with aura and migraine without aura are each associated with abnormalities in brain energy metabolism; thus, mitochondrial dysfunction may be involved in a subset of patients.

In 1998, Schoenen et al found that a high dose of riboflavin (400mg/day) was an effective migraine prophylaxis, reducing attack frequency by 56%. The full benefit is obtained after 3 months. Riboflavin was postulated to improve the altered mitochondrial energy metabolism. [5]

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