Migraine Gene Identified

If you suffer from migraines, then there may be a genetic reason for this, according to new research. According to a new study, a certain variation of chromosome 8 is connected with increased migraine risk.

It was long debated whether migraines have an inheritable or genetic component, and now the genetic link is seen to exist in case of migraines with aura as well as without. The link in terms of migraines with aura was seen to be stronger.

A genome wide study, involving almost six thousand migraine sufferers and as many as 50,000 who do not have migraine, was able to show that migraine sufferers were more likely to have a variant on chromosome 8 between the MTDH and the PGCP gene.

It is the regulation of the neurotransmitter glutamate that the gene is responsible for. The genes regulate the balance of glutamate in the brain and the body, which is the substance that is responsible for transmission of signals between neurons.

It is speculated that build up of this glutamate in the synapses could be responsible for the migraines, though how and why exactly is not yet known.