Expert Opinion: Recent Genetic Research & Migraine

The exact cause of migraine is unknown but genetics is thought to play an important role. Migraines tend to run in families. A recent study, published on 6/12/11 in the British Journal Nature Genetics, helps confirm the role of genetics and inheritance in migraine. In this study, scientists uncovered 3 genes to be associated with migraine individuals and one of them exclusively linked to women with migraine. In this study, the genetic components (genome) of 23, 230 women were examined; 5122 had migraine. Differences in the genetic make-up (DNA) were evaluated and the 3 genes found linked to the women with migraine are:

1. PRDM 16

2. TRPM 8 (unique to women with migraine)

3. LRP1

This study helps to confirm earlier, smaller studies showing a genetic link to migraine. It is not expected that genetic testing will be part of the work-up for the majority of migraine individuals; however, this study is important is our understanding of the cause of migraine.

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View References
Genome-wide association study reveals three susceptibility loci for common migraine in the general population

Comments

View Comments (14)
  • hammy
    1 year ago

    What about men?.. I was diagnosed with chronic Cluster Migraines am I in the wrong place?

  • Joanna Bodner moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi there hammy,
    You are absolutely in the right place! 🙂 Although, we understand your sentiment…in fact, one of our contributor’s Bill, elaborates on how “Information on how other men manage migraines is rare.” You may appreciate his article, entitled Migraine Man. Thanks for taking the time to comment and always feel free to reach out for support or to share your experience.

    Take good care,
    Joanna (Migraine.com Team)

  • Chave D Sladia
    7 years ago

    There is also another disorder CADASIL which is a mutation on Chromsome 19. Many who have this mutation also suffer from severe migraines with and with aura.

  • Rachel Z
    7 years ago

    so what if they’ve identified some specific genes? they’ve known of migraine associated genes for years, and it hasn’t led to the creation of new more effective drugs. my migraines are daily and so far refractory, so i’m pretty sensitive to this.anyway, gene therapy has just taken a huge hit recently. sorry to be a downer on this topic

  • Susan Cleveland
    7 years ago

    I’m just glad to hear that there is research being done into the “why’s” of migraines.

  • Janice Moore
    7 years ago

    are we any closer to people with migraines being tested for these genetic abnormalities.

  • Karen Stanley Haack
    7 years ago

    I may have to call and educate him…LOL.

  • Ellen Schnakenberg
    7 years ago

    Would like to check out and join the group too Kate 🙂

  • Karen Stanley Haack
    7 years ago

    I saw your friend request.. My daughter is in the same way. did she have the gardasil shot?

  • Kate Kopasz
    7 years ago

    Just sent you a friend request, Karen, but there was nowhere to write a message…hope you see this before hand so you don’t think some strnager is stalking you! 🙂 Even if you don’t accept right now – some check us all out at the group. There’s some really nice moms there….

  • Kate Kopasz
    7 years ago

    Hi Karen! I have a 15 (almost 16) year old daughter with Chronic Daily 24/7 migraine of 4 years duration. We have tried just about everything, and been to dozens of doctors in a few different states. Unfortunately, very few neurologists and even headache specialists have a clue how to break the refractory cycle. We are now considering a neurostimulator implant. I know teens that now have their lives back after this.
    I wanted to mention to you that I started a Facebook group named Parents of Children with Migraine and/or Chronic Daily Headache. It’s new and still small but it’s a very supportive group of mostly moms that are all in the same situation. Wold you consider joining us? (Anyone who sees this is also welcome…)

  • Karen Stanley Haack
    7 years ago

    I asked Sami’s genetic doctor if there was anything he could do to figure out why she had 24/7 migraines and he said no….goes to show you some docs are out of the loop and this is Shands in Gainesville a teaching hospital…..I don’t know what they’re teaching but they are not very good doctors.

  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    6 years ago

    Hi Amanda,

    I’m sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis. Are you seeing a doctor who specializes in Chiari now? If not, that may be the way to go.
    Getting a new diagnosis can be scary, but given the correct information and having a good support system can make all the difference.

    Let me know how we can help, OK?
    Nancy

  • Amanda Hipp
    6 years ago

    I recently had a change in migraines and was diagnosed with a Chiari Malformation. Shands Doctor was completely unimpressed until a spinal cord lesion develops(Permanent nerve damage). Certainly something of which migraine sufferers should be aware.

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