In what is described as the largest genetic study on migraine conducted to date, researchers from the International Headache Genetics Consortium, with representation from 12 countries, have announced a major advance in understanding of the genetic triggers for the condition. The study identified 38 genomic regions that are associated with migraine; only 10 of these regions were previously known to be associated with migraine. The study analyzed DNA samples from 375,000 subjects from Europe, America, and Australia, 60,000 of whom were migraineurs. The findings were published online earlier this week in the journal Nature Genetics.
The genomic areas that were identified in the study were found to closely overlap with genes that have been associated with vascular disease and/or the regulation of vascular tone. The researchers said this finding corroborates the importance of blood vessels in migraine events. The findings may be useful in categorizing migraineurs into different genetic susceptibility groups for clinical trials and are described as a first step in the development of personalized, evidence-based treatments for migraine. John-Anker Zwart, PhD, head of research with the Oslo University Hospital commented, “We doctors have known for a long time that migraine patients differ from each other and the drugs that work for some patients are completely inefficient for others.”
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Read more about the findings, and link to the journal article here.