Cerebrospinal fluid hypocretin-1 levels during the active period of cluster headache

Sabina Cevoli, Fabio Pizza, Daniela Grimaldi, Marianna Nicodemo, Valentina Favoni, Giulia Pierangeli, Philipp O. Valko, Christian R. Baumann, Pasquale Montagna, Claudio L. Bassetti, Pietro Cortelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Hypocretins (orexins) are hypothalamic neuropeptides which are involved in a wide range of physiological processes in mammals including central pain processing. Genetic studies in humans evidenced a role for the hypocretinergic system in cluster headache (CH).Patients and methods: We tested cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) hypocretin-1 (orexin-A) levels in 10 CH patients during an active cluster period. CSF hypocretin-1 levels were measured by radioimmunoassay.Results: CSF hypocretin-1 levels were within the normal range (mean 457.3-±-104.98-pg/ml, range 304-639) in our 10 patients, with a slight reduction in one case (304-pg/ml). There were no associations between CSF hypocretin-1 levels and the clinical features of CH. A trend towards higher hypocretin-1 levels was disclosed in patients with chronic CH compared to episodic CH.Conclusions: CSF hypocretin-1 levels seem not to influence the clinical course of CH, but our results cannot completely exclude a functional involvement of the hypothalamic hypocretinergic system in the pathogenesis of CH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)973-976
Number of pages4
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011


  • Cluster headache
  • hypocretin-1
  • hypothalamus
  • orexin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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