Scientists Claim to Find Genetic Risk Factor Associated with Migraine

The scientists have claimed to discover a particular genetic risk factor blamed to cause common types of migraine. It is for the first time that a gene variant associated with migraine has been found.

The findings of the study appeared in the journal Health and Medicine. The study was lead by Dr. Aarno Palotie of Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, who expressed that such a wide study is an outcome of large scale international collaboration, along with the vast data collected with the right proficiency and resources.

The study undertook more than 50,000 people and observed their genetic data. The scientists found out a specific DNA variant on Chromosome 8 in migraine patients that was located between the two genes PGCP and MTDH.

The reason cited by the scientists for the association between genetic factor and migraine was that there is a chemical called neurotransmitter or glutamatem in the brain, which the DNA variant regulates and thus, aids conveying messages between nerve cells in the brain. When glutamate amasses in the synapses of nerve cells in brain, the migraine attacks start.

The scientists made a comparison between genomes of more than 3000 migraine patients from Finland, Germany and The Netherlands with the genomes of more than 10,000 people without having migraine.

The gene variant was found associated with the initiation of migraine. The study would pave way for the invention of drugs targeting this variant to check migraine and could also prove helpful for identifying other diseases.