Researchers have identified 28 new genetic risk variants for migraine.
Published in Nature Genetics, the study reveals that many of these genetic variants are inside or nearby genes that either govern the vascular system or have been associated with vascular disease.
The study researchers - all of whom are members of the International Headache Genetics Consortium (IHGC) - say their findings provide further evidence that migraine can arise as a result of impaired blood vessel function.
According to the Migraine Research Foundation, around 1 in 4 households in the United States include someone who experiences migraine.
Many people perceive migraine simply as a "bad headache," but this is not the case. A migraine attack can cause severe throbbing on one or both sides of the head, and this may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to sound and light, visual problems, and tingling or numbness of the face.
Such symptoms can last anywhere from 4-72 hours, and at times, they can be so severe that a hospital visit is required; each year, around 1.2 million visits to the emergency room in the U.S. are due to acute migraine attacks.
Current treatments for migraine focus on alleviating symptoms of the condition, but they do not work for everyone. Because little is known about what causes migraine, identifying new treatments or a cure is challenging.
Prof. Aarno Palotie, co-author of the new study and leader of the IHGC, and colleagues say their findings could bring us closer to such a feat.
DNA analysis uncovered 38 migraine-related genetic variants
The team analyzed the DNA of 59,674 adults with migraine, comparing it with the DNA of 316,078 adults without migraine. Participants were from Europe, the U.S., and Australia.
From their analysis, the researchers identified a total of Honor Whiteman (resource no longer available at www.nature.com)