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New findings in cluster headache.

  • Giacovazzo, M
Published Article
Annali italiani di medicina interna : organo ufficiale della Società italiana di medicina interna
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1990
3 Pt 3
PMID: 2150489


The clinical profile of cluster headache, in Italy better known as "Horton's histaminic headache" is described. The Author makes an inventory of all pathogenetic theories about this excruciating pain syndrome that strikes men more than women. On the basis of findings of the Author and his School over a ten-year period, there is a "periodic lack of immunitary oversee". The salient points of various stages of this study are: low frequency of HLA-B14 antigen with, in contrast, high frequency of the HLA-DR5 antigen of the major histocompatibility system. The HLA B18 antigen of the same major histocompatibility system has been found in patients who respond to lithium therapy. A lack of the HLA-B18 antigen has been found in cluster headache patients who are "non-responders" to lithium therapy. Low titers of antibody response in the pain free periods of these subjects, and high titers in the painful periods has also been found in the serum of cluster headache patients; the lack of alpha 1-antitrypsin in basal conditions; increase of IgE (PRIST) values in painful periods; high titers of C1qSp and KgBt circulating immuno-complexes. The cellular immunity studies of the patients showed an increase of the leukocyte subpopulations Leu7+ and Leu M3+. Besides, the natural killer function that contributes to the defense-mechanism against viral disease, was very low. High titers of anti-herpes simplex 1 and 2 viruses and anti-Epstein-Barr virus have been found in cluster headache patients and in a few observations of Burkitt's lymphoma with associated cluster headache, studied in Sahel area too.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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