Eagle 2012: SULT1A Inhibition and How a Migraine Stops

Eagle.  Headache. 52(8):  1321.

This paper describes how SULT1A enzymes affect dopamine, a neurotransmitter. Yellow 5 (Tartrazine) is one of the items that can inhibit SULT1A (Note: SULT1A is called PST in some studies).

Elevated dopamine is generally blamed for a migraine, but something must elevate it. A mechanism connecting a list of ingested “triggers” to dopamine is described: The usual “triggers” contain phenols and polyphenols that have been shown in vitro to inhibit the SULT1A1 and SULT1A3 enzymes needed to keep the dopamine within the normal range.

Inhibition of these enzymes prevents them from deactivating catecholamines (such as dopamine) which would then build up.

Migraines often appear to follow stress; what happens is that stress releases the catecholamines (including dopamine) which should then be deactivated …. But since the
enzymes are inhibited and can’t deactivate it, the dopamine then builds up and causes the migraine. Therefore, even though the immediate trigger appears to be stress, the real trigger, or root cause, is the inability of the body to deactivate the dopamine.

NOTE:  Many people with ADHD — and many parents of children with ADHD — also suffer from migraines. There are several dopamine pathways in the brain, one of which plays a major role in the motivational component of behavior.

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