A Spanish study points to the deficit of diamine oxidase as a possible cause of migraine – Medical Publication of neurology

On 24 May 2010 in the Medical Journal of neurology (a publication of GlaxoSmithKline and SANITARIA 2000 – with the support of Spanish Society of Neurology) presented the topics addressed during the day to raise awareness of migraine and other vascular headaches, held in the Congress of Deputies of Spain. On this day had presence personalities from the worlds of politics and national and international medicine as the European Federation of Neurological Associations`s president, Mary Baker, or the member of the European Parliament Nessa Childens, also member of the European Parliament Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety.

Presentation of MIGRADAO study (migraine, histamine intolerance, Diamine oxidase DAO defciency) in the congress of diputies of spain

Mary Baker, president of the FENA (European Federation of Neurological Associations); Fabio Antonaci, president of the Europen Headache Federation; Nessa Childens, MEP and member of ENVI (European Parliament Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety); Gaspar Llamazares, president of the Commission for Health of the Congress; Audrey Craven, President of the EHA (European Headache Alliance ) ; Jesus Olesen, founder of the European Brain Council. Image credits: Medical Journal of neurology.


In this way it became apparent the institutional , the international community and the scientific community support to join efforts and promote research and protocols on migraine and other vascular headaches, in order to lay their biological bases as well as their correct diagnosis, treatment, and prevention at the clinical level.



In the field of research at the clinical level, were presented the main findings of the study MIGRADAO (which has had its continuation in the study MIGRADAO 002), apioneer clinical study at the global level in Nutritional Medicine and DAO deficiency/Migraines, and that was promoted by the Spanish Association of patients with headache (Aepac) and the Spanish laboratory DR Healthcare, specialist in the treatment of the DAO deficiency symptoms.

The main research was directed by Carmen Vidal, Professor of Nutrition and Bromatology at the University of Barcelona, and its results showed a significant relationship between deficits of the enzyme diamine oxidase (DAO) and the emergence of migraine attacks by accumulation of histamine derived from the diet.

Histamine is a molecule that is present in all foods of the daily diet, and is metabolized mainly at the level of the intestine and in blood by the DAO enzyme . The histamine presents different vital functions and physiological and pathological effects throughout the body, but their involvement in the migraine is associated with its capacity to produce neurological disorders at a cerebral level.

The results indicated that 96 percent of migraine sufferers have a reduced level of DAO (49 percent with values between 40 and 80 udh/ml.) or very low (47 percent with values less than 40 udh/ml.), leading to an accumulation of histamine in tissues and organs, leading to migraine and other vascular headaches.


New Horizons

Also, on the occasion of this day, there were numerous new projects both in the scope of the Members of the European Parliament and the working life of affected patients. In addition, the European Headache Alliance (EHA) presented his “Manifest of Madrid on headache and migraine” which follows the previous protocols of the Declarations of Rome and Amsterdam.

The latter was signed in December 2009 and laid the basis for a greater involvement of the patient in the treatment of headache as well as a better patient-physician communication as pathways necessary for effective management of these ailments.

In addition, this Dutch city, highlighted the importance of the attention of migraines by a multidisciplinary team, which appears as the more effective care in terms of cost-effectiveness. Finally, another of the conclusions which were distilled on that occasion was the need for the multidisciplinary team is properly trained and that there is greater communication between doctors themselves.

The Manifest of Madrid, which has been presented at the Congress of Deputies in a session opened by Gaspar Llamazares, medic and in that time diputie for Asturias and Madrid in the General Courts of the Spanish Parliament, involves an appeal to all European politicians to make the investigation of this disease a priority.

“The migraine should be strongly taken into account in the political agenda,” said Audrey Craven, President of the EHA (European Headache Alliance ).

In it was stablished that migraine is a neurological disorder of the brain, which is recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the 12th leading cause of disability and that involves a cost to the European economy of 27 billion euros a year. And it is that migraine affects more than 80 million people in the world and nearly five million in our country. Hence the need to carry out policies of action jointly by all countries.


Patients’ access to health care

With the objective to determine the access of patients to the assistance, the EHA conducted a survey in which 84 percent of respondents were female and 16 percent male. Some of the data that it throw is that although in almost all countries in which this survey was conducted there are doctors and specialized centers, the majority of respondents considered inadequate the assistance. Despite the fact that the reasons are varied, in general most makes reference to the fact that migraine is not considered as a “true disease.”

In addition, revealed that 60 percent of respondents are not satisfied with the management and treatment of migraine, considered to be ineffective treatments, little information on how to use them and difficult access to specialist. Another fact that emerges is that only an eight percent have access to specialist and the patient takes an average of 12.8 years to be aware of the existence of a specialized center.


This discontent rises in Spain to 81 per cent.


In the following links you can access the original article published in Medical Journal of Neurology, or download the pdf through here. Get access also through these links to more information about the DAO Deficiencyits origin and the presence of histamine and other biogenic amines en different types of foods.