Quantitative analysis of skeletal muscle bioenergetics and proton efflux in migraine and cluster headache

R. Lodi, G. J. Kemp, P. Montagna, G. Pierangeli, P. Cortelli, S. Iotti, G. K. Radda, B. Barbiroli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Phosphorus MR spectroscopy (31P-MPS) was used to quantify skeletal muscle bioenergetics and proton efflux in 63 patients with migraine (23 with migraine without aura, MwoA, 22 with migraine with aura, MwA, and 18 with prolonged aura or stroke, CM) and in 14 patients with cluster headache (CH), all in an attack-free period. At rest mitochondrial function was abnormal only in CM, as shown by a low phosphocreatine (PCr) concentration. At the end of a mixed glycolytic/aerobic exercise all three migraine groups showed a significantly smaller decrease of cytosolic pH compared to controls with a similar end-exercise PCr breakdown, while end-exercise pH was normal in cluster headache patients. The normal rate of proton efflux in all headache groups suggests that the reduced end-exercise acidification was due to a reduction of glycolytic flux in migraine patients. The maximum rate of mitochondrial ATH production (Q(max)), calculated from the rate of post-exercise PCr recovery and the end-exercise [ADP], was low in cluster headache patients as well as in migraine patients except MwoA. In migraine the degree of the mitochondrial impairment, that apparently is associated with a reduced glycolytic flux, is related to the severity of the clinical phenotype.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-80
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 27 1997


  • bioenergetics
  • cluster headache
  • in vivo P-MRS
  • migraine
  • normal controls
  • proton efflux
  • skeletal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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