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Pregledni rad – Review Paper

HERBS AND NATURAL PRODUCTS IN PREVENTION AND TREATMENT OF MIGRAINE

By
Milan Ilić
Milan Ilić

Faculty of Pharmacy, European University, Novi Sad, Serbia

Abstract

Migraine headaches are extremely common and it is considered that, on average, one of ten people suffer from migraine. The pathogenesis of migraine is not fully understood. There are two theories, vascular and neurogenic. The treatment of migraine involves the prevention and treatment of acute attacks. Preventive therapy is recommended when migraine attacks are extremely frequent (2 or more attacks per month), intensive, long, and "resistant" to acute therapy. One of the most important herbs in the treatment of migraine is species Tanacetum parthenium, Asteraceae, feverfew. The most important active compounds in aboveground parts of the plant are sesquiterpene α-methylenebutyrolactones. The dominant compound of this group is parthenolide - sesquiterpene lactone. Parthenolide is considered to be responsible for antimigraine activity. It was shown that parthenolide contains highly electrophilic α-methylene-γ-lactone ring and resin, which directly interact with the nucleophilic groups of biological molecules. Among other, (inhibition of platelet aggregation, the transcription of NF-kappaB and IKC-a), parthenolide inhibits the release of serotonin. Also, ergo-peptide alkaloid ergotamine, product of the metabolism of the fungus principal rye (Claviceps purpurea) shows antimigraine activity. It acts as a partial agonist of αadrenergic receptors, which explains vasoconstriction. On 5-HT receptors it acts as partial agonist and that can explain usage in migraine therapy.

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