Lack of association between five serotonin metabolism-related genes and medication overuse headache

Sabina Cevoli*, Nadia Marzocchi, Sabina Capellari, Chiara Scapoli, Giulia Pierangeli, Daniela Grimaldi, Federica Naldi, L. Alberto Pini, Pasquale Montagna, Pietro Cortelli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Serotonin is involved in several central nervous system functions including pain threshold, mood regulation and drug reward. Overuse of acute medications is commonly identified as a causative factor for medication overuse headache (MOH). Apparently, MOH shares with other kinds of drug addiction some common neurobiological pathways. The objective of this study is to assess the role of serotonin metabolism genes in the genetic liability to MOH. We performed a genetic association study using polymorphisms of five serotonin metabolism-related genes: Serotonin transporter (5HTT), serotonin receptor 1A (5-HT1A), serotonin receptor 1B (5-HT1B), serotonin receptor 2A (5-HT2A) and serotonin receptor 6 (5HT6) genes. We compared 138 patients with MOH with a control sample of 117 individuals without headache and without drug overuse, and with 101 patients with migraine without aura but without drug overuse (MO). The genotypic and allelic distributions of all polymorphisms investigated did not differ among the three groups. In conclusion, our study does not provide evidence that the 5HTT, 5-HT1A, 5HT1B, 5HT2A and 5HT6 gene polymorphisms play a role in the genetic predisposition to MOH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-58
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Headache and Pain
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2010


  • Chronic headache
  • Drug overuse
  • Genetic
  • Medication overuse headache
  • Polymorphism
  • Serotonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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