Griffith University Health Institute in Australia has released genetic research news that provided new clues for people with Migraine. Professor Lyn Griffiths led a tem who identified a new region on the X chromosome as playing a role in Migraine disease. (Females have two X chromosomes; males have one X chromosome and one Y chromosome.)
Research into the genetics of Migraine has become very important because it may address some of our more pressing problems:
- There are currently no diagnostic tests to confirm a diagnosis of Migraine. Genetic testing is still complex and expensive, but as genetic research and science progress, genetic testing may well become both common and affordable. That could mean a simple blood test to diagnose Migraine.
- We have not one single treatment on the market that was originally developed for Migraine prevention. The future could easily hold targeted treatments for many diseases based on genetics.
The research also points toward the involvement of a new Migraine susceptibility gene and the involvement of more than one X chromosomal gene. It also implicates a gene involved in iron regulation in the brain.
Professor Griffith commented:
"These results provide more support for the role of the X chromosome in migraine and may explain why so many more females suffer from the disorder.
Currently, 12 per cent of the population suffers from Migraine. Even though we have some very good treatments for this very debilitating disease, they certainly don’t work for everyone and can have some adverse side effects. Hence there is a real need to develop new Migraine treatments.
This population was used due to its unusual pedigree structure in which genetic relationships can be traced through genealogical data to the island’s original founders, and also the high incidence of migraine sufferers in this population. It’s very useful for gene mapping purposes because of the reduced genetic and environmental diversity."
The team conducted their research from a comprehensive chromosome analysis of around 300 Norfolk participants from a large multigenerational family, including many family members affected by Migraine. The analysis was conducted using DNA samples obtained from the participants.
Summary and comments:
Professor Griffiths and her team's research:
- identified a new region on the X chromosome as playing a role in Migraine disease.
- points toward the involvement of a new Migraine susceptibility gene
- points toward the involvement of more than one X chromosomal gene
- implicates a gene involved in iron regulation in the brain.
While genes and chromosomes are microscopic in the lab, this is enormous news for the Migraine community. Every such discovery is one more step toward a better understanding of the disease, what causes it, how it works, and how we can battle it.
Griffith University. "New hope for migraine sufferers." PSYPOST.org. June 4, 2012.