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Genetic link found in migraines

For the first time three gene variations have been found which scientists believe are a link to headaches, in particular migraines. Migraines are appro...

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|Jun 14|magazine5 min read

For the first time three gene variations have been found which scientists believe are a link to headaches, in particular migraines.

Migraines are approximately three or four times more likely to affect women and one of genes that were identified were found exclusively in females.

It is now hoped that the new information will eventually lead to a better understanding of migraines and could possibly pave the way for revolutionary treatments.

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Twenty percent of the world’s population suffer from migraines and although the cause of the condition is largely unknown there have been suspicions that genetic inheritance plays a significant part.

The groundbreaking research was led by the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, U.S and the team of researchers found three variations of the genes PRDM16, TRPM8 and LRP1.

These variations were more common in migraine sufferers and the scientists believe they increase the risk of a migraine by 10-15 percent.

The TRPM8 gene was only linked to migraines in women. Both the PRDM16 gene and the TRPM8 gene were linked specifically to migraines rather than other types of headaches.

Meanwhile, the LRP1 gene is responsible for sensing the external world and the researchers believe it could be involved in the promotion of migraine attacks.

 The genes of over 23,000 women were look at as part of the study and over 5,000 of these women were migraine sufferers.