Genetic links of migraines discovered
Migraine are one step closer to getting some relief. Researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the U.K. say they have identified the main biological causes of the condition.
Scientists have long struggled to identify the root causes of migraine attacks, which has limited progress in treatment. By identifying the genetic regions responsible for migraines, however, the research team offers hope to the nearly 14 percent of adults who suffer from the debilitating disease.
This study managed to identify 12 different genetic regions that play a role in the risk of migraine. Of those 12 regions, eight control brain circuits and two maintain healthy brain tissue. A person's genetic susceptibility may have to do with the way in which these pathways are regulated. Gathering evidence from 29 different genomic studies comprising a total of 10,000 migraine and control samples, the researchers found that the genetic regions associated with migraine are interconnected, and disruption of the cells inside the brain could lead to migraine attacks.
The researchers determined that three gene variations are linked to an increased risk for migraine headaches than the general population, and that each variation increases risk by 10 to 15 percent.