Genes are to blame for migraines: will a cure be possible in the future?

Genes are to blame for migraines: will a cure be possible in the future?

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Migraines are a common disease. One million people in Germany make extreme headaches a hell of a day and give them sleepless nights. One in ten of those affected cannot leave the bed because of this agony. Disabled by migraines: Patients suffer from headache attacks especially in everyday life. But now a breakthrough has been made to address the cause of the pain.

Genetic predisposition
Research knew that genetic predispositions promote migraines, which they are, but has so far been in the fog. Now the scientists have found a number of gene structures that trigger migraines.

World's largest study
Are genetic changes the cause of migraines? Scientists from the International Headache Genetics Consortium (IHGC) examined the genetic structures of migraine sufferers in the largest study to date - involving 375,000 people in the United States, Europe and Australia. 60,000 of them regularly suffer from migraines. The study brought together 22 individual studies and compared genetic variations that migraine sufferers have in common. The Pain Clinic Kiel reports.

Identified responsible genes
The result: The scientists found over 30 new genetic risks that promote migraines. Ten of these genes are also co-triggers for diseases of the blood and lymphatic vessels, says Professor Stefan Schreiber, director of the Clinic for Internal Medicine at the University Medical Center Schleswig Holstein. Schreiber worked on the study.

Individual therapies are now possible
The study shows that migraines are closely related to blood circulation dysregulation, says Schreiber. On this basis, individual therapies could start.

Genes are not everything
Almost 3 in 4 migraine sufferers have close relatives who are also affected by the headache attacks and whose parents are affected by migraines are up to four times more likely to develop the symptoms themselves.

But not everyone who has the genetic predisposition has to develop a migraine. The social environment, the environment and mental stability also play a role: for example, migraines are often an outlet for suppressed tension, bad weather can cause people headaches, and new risk factors for migraines were discovered in 2013.

How do migraines occur?
“The arteries supply the brain's nerve cells with oxygen and energy. (…) According to the new data, a temporary disruption of care due to the particular genetic makeup of those affected during the migraine attack plays a crucial role in triggering migraine attacks, ”says Prof. Hartmut Göbel from the Pain Clinic in Kiel.

Is healing possible now?
The study is a breakthrough, because now drugs can be developed and treatments that go to the roots instead of just alleviating the symptoms as before. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)

Author and source information

Video: Blame Migraines On Your Parents (May 2022).