'Crucial step made in migraine research'


Vascular, not brain dysfunction makes me think of autonomic problems. And collagen building problems like are seen in EDS. Hmmmmm......

Researchers 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.'

- See more at: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/nati...n-migraine-research.html#sthash.UvvqFWcD.dpuf


Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
Wait. We’ve known for decades that the problem was vascular. I’m confused.
Actually migraine was originally thought to be wholly vascular but the advent of triptans - the drugs used most in migraine - suggested that serotonin is a big deal. Actually the vascular idea was fought by migraine advocates because it lead people to think that migraines just stress out too much. It was always known to be at least vascular but other factors had showed up.

But now it looks like vascular problems are returning to the fore again.

Their action is attributed to their agonist[2] effects on serotonin 5-HT1B and 5-HT1D receptors in cranial blood vessels (causing their constriction) and subsequent inhibition of pro-inflammatory neuropeptide release. Evidence is accumulating that these drugs are effective because they act on serotonin receptors in nerve endings as well as the blood vessels. This leads to a decrease in the release of several peptides, including CGRP and substance P.


Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
So "Migraine ranks as the seventh most disabling of all diseases worldwide and is the third most costly neurological disorder after dementia and stroke"

Big deal huh?

It gets 20 million dollars a year in funding from the NIH.

Dementia gets $753 million dollars a year.

Another disease that largely attacks women, usually doesn't kill but causes massive amounts of pain and economic losses - gets peanuts from the NIH.

The really weird thing is that migraine patients are doing very little advocating that I can tell.


Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
Look at the scale of this study - 60,000 patients (and hundreds of thousands of controls)

It's huge studies like this that can make breakthroughs in genetics like this...

Nancy Klimas is trying to something similar in ME/CFS.

Here's from the abstract of the paper

Migraine is a debilitating neurological disorder affecting around one in seven people worldwide, but its molecular mechanisms remain poorly understood. There is some debate about whether migraine is a disease of vascular dysfunction or a result of neuronal dysfunction with secondary vascular changes. Genome-wide association (GWA) studies have thus far identified 13 independent loci associated with migraine.

To identify new susceptibility loci, we carried out a genetic study of migraine on 59,674 affected subjects and 316,078 controls from 22 GWA studies. We identified 44 independent single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) significantly associated with migraine risk (P < 5 × 10-8) that mapped to 38 distinct genomic loci, including 28 loci not previously reported and a locus that to our knowledge is the first to be identified on chromosome X.

In subsequent computational analyses, the identified loci showed enrichment for genes expressed in vascular and smooth muscle tissues, consistent with a predominant theory of migraine that highlights vascular etiologies.


I'm glad the vascular system showed up because I think the vascular system is probably huge in ME/CFS and FM.

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