Background: Migraine is a common neuroinflammatory disorder characterized by recurrent
attacks of pain. Human and experimental models of migraine studies have demonstrated the role
played by COX-2/ iNOS in migraine’s neuroinflammatory pathogenesis. COX-2 and iNOS are closely
linked and both contribute to inflammation and neurogenic pain in the central nervous system. Omega-
3 fatty acids and curcumin, an active polyphenol of turmeric, have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective
effects through several mechanisms, including the suppression of COX-2 and iNOS gene expression,
as well as their serum levels. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the nutrigenomic effects
of ω-3 fatty acids, nano-curcumin, and a combination of the two, on neuroinflammation and clinical
symptoms in migraine patients.
Methods: This study reports the results of a clinical trial over a 2-month period, involving 74 episodic
migraine patients who received ω-3 fatty acids, nano-curcumin, a combination of them, or a placebo.
At the start and end of the study, the expression of COX-2/iNOS (in peripheral mononuclear blood
cells isolated from patients) and COX-2/iNOS serum levels were measured, using real-time PCR and
ELISA respectively. The frequency, severity and duration of pain attacks were also recorded.
Results: The results of the present trial showed that ω-3 fatty acids and nano-curcumin can reinforce
each other’s effects in the downregulation of COX-2/iNOS mRNA, as well as reduce their serum levels.
In addition, the combination of ω-3 and nano-curcumin significantly reduced the frequency, severity
and duration of headaches (P<0.05).
Conclusion: These findings indicate that combination therapy of ω-3 fatty acids and nano-curcumin
can be considered as a promising new approach in migraine prevention.