Tags: migraine | gene | women

New Hope for Migraine Sufferers

Monday, 11 Jun 2012 11:33 AM


Scientists have determined genes and gender are key factors that cause migraines in some people – a finding that offers new hope for better diagnosis and treatment options for sufferers.
Griffith University researchers have identified a new region on the X chromosome that plays a role in migraines. Lead researcher Lyn Griffiths, from the University's Griffith Health Institute, said the finding provides compelling evidence that genetic factors are involved in the development of migraines.
"These results provide more support for the role of the X chromosome in migraine and may explain why so many more females suffer from the disorder," said Griffiths. She added that identifying the various genes that cause migraine may point the way to better diagnosis and more targeted treatments.
"Currently, 12 percent of the population suffers from migraine,” she noted. “Even though we have some very good treatments for this very debilitating disease, they certainly don't work for everyone and can have some adverse side effects. Hence there is a real need to develop new migraine treatments."
For the study, Griffith and colleagues studied a unique population of the remote Norfolk Island where 80 percent of inhabitants are able to trace their ancestry back to the historical event that served as the basis for “The Mutiny on the Bounty.” The population, which shares a common genetic history, also includes a high rate of migraine sufferers, she noted.
Researchers conducted a comprehensive chromosome analysis of some 300 Norfolk residents, including many who are affected by migraine, using DNA samples.
The analysis found there may be more than one X chromosomal gene involved in migraines and implicated a gene involved in iron regulation in the brain. All females have two X chromosomes while males have an X and a Y chromosome.


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Genes and gender have been identified as key factors in the development of migraines.
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Monday, 11 Jun 2012 11:33 AM
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