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Genetic Study Reveals New Insights Into Cause Of Migraines

The world’s largest study of migraines has discovered five new genetic regions linked to their onset.

| July 3, 2013 | Health

Asian Scientist (Jul. 3, 2013) - The world’s largest study of migraines has discovered five new genetic regions linked to their onset, revealing new insights into the causes of the debilitating headaches.

Migraine is a common and distressing brain disorder which causes severe headaches. It affects about 14% of adults and sufferers experience symptoms such as throbbing, perceptual disturbance, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and noise.

In the study, published in Nature Genetics, an international team of researchers compared the results from 29 different genomic studies, including over 100,000 samples from both migraine patients and control samples.

Their analysis identified a total of 12 genetic regions associated with migraine susceptibility, including five regions that had not been previously associated with the onset of migraines.

“Migraine is a difficult neural condition to study because between episodes the patient is basically healthy, so it’s extremely hard to uncover biochemical clues,” said Dr Dale Nyholt, a senior author of the study.

“But these sorts of biological or biochemical results and insights are essential if we are to fully get to grips with this debilitating condition.”

The team believes that many of the genetic regions are interconnected and could be disrupting the internal regulation of tissue and cells in the brain, resulting in some of the symptoms of migraine.

The article can be found at: Anttila et al. (2013) Genome-Wide Meta-Analysis Identifies New Susceptibility Loci For Migraine.


Source: QIMR; Photo: r.nial.bradshaw/Flickr.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

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