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Are migraines genetic?

My older brother and I both suffer from migraines. He has had epilepsy (Petite Mal and Grand Mal) for 20 years. We both get migraines that are often debilitating. My mother has never had a migraine. I can't account for my father as he was absent from our lives. So, could migraines be genetically connected?

  1. Yes. My great grandfather had migraines and wore red pepper ligament on his head. My great aunt often had to call the doctor to come by and give her shots, both my paternal grandparents as well.
    My dad suffered mercilessly for years, he is 79 and still has them. I have them awful and my niece has them.
    I have a whole group of cousins that suffer as well.

    1. Hi Beardo007,

      Thank you for your question. I'm sorry you and your brother experience debilitating migraine attacks - you're not alone.

      The answer is a resounding YES! Migraine disease is thought to be a genetic neurological disorder. Have you been able to get an accurate diagnosis? This is really important as it allows us to learn all we can about our particular type of migraine/headache disorder and get the correct treatment. You can read more about that here;

      I hope that helps!
      Nancy Harris Bonk

      1. I was diagnosed with migraines when I was ten. That was twenty years ago as well. I joined this site last night because I had a severe migraine attack that lasted around eight hours total. It's very interesting to learn that migraines are genetic. I never would have thought that.

    2. Both my parents had them! I've had them since I was 15 - I'm now 71 and still get them. My sister has had one in her life, caused by stress at work. Both my daughters get them, but only very occasionally. Genetics is weird sometimes but definitely aconnection.

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