Vascular, not brain dysfunction makes me think of autonomic problems. And collagen building problems like are seen in EDS. Hmmmmm......
- See more at: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/national/qld/2016/06/21/crucial-step-made-in-migraine-research.html#sthash.UvvqFWcD.dpufResearchers have taken a crucial step to discovering the biological causes of the debilitating migraine, leading to hope that new and more effective treatments are on the way.
The world's largest study of migraines co-led by an Australian researcher, published in Nature Genetics, has discovered dozens of new genes linked to their onset.
Migraine ranks as the seventh most disabling of all diseases worldwide and is the third most costly neurological disorder after dementia and stroke, yet the exact causes of their onset are still unknown.
Queensland University of Technology's Associate Professor Dale Nyholt, who co-led the study that involved 60,000 patients, says they have taken a crucial step to uncovering the biological causes of migraine through the use of genetics.
Researchers have identified 44 independent DNA variants robustly associated with migraine risk that mapped to 38 distinct genes, including 28 not previously reported.
What the findings indicate is that vascular dysfunction is a primary underlying cause of migraine, not brain dysfunction.
'Although it remains likely that neurogenic mechanisms are also involved in migraine, the vascular finding is consistent with known comorbidities and previously reported shared genetic risk among migraine, stroke, and cardiovascular diseases,' Dr Nyholt said.
'We now know more about the biology, what genes, what pathways are associated with a migraine headache and therefore it has given us real targets to organise and work out which pharmaceutical will target those pathways, so therefore there is going to be new opportunities for new pharmaceuticals in the future,' he said.
Medications now used to treat migraine don't work for all sufferers.
Dr Nyholt says the hope is that the new research will lead to the re-purposing of existing drugs that can target vascular dysfunction to treat migraine.
'Now that we have identified genetic risk factors, the aim is to start looking at the interaction between those risk factors and the environment, and that will give us even greater knowledge,' Dr Nyholt said.
'We are learning more and more every year about the genetics of migraine which then tells us more about the biology of it.
'It's not going to be an overnight solution but we're well and truly on the road to finding new things and new treatments.'