Identification of a rare genetic variant in migraine families


  • Researchers have identified a rare genetic variant in the visual cortex of migraine families, which may help to unpick the underlying pathophysiology of migraine and improve treatment.

Why this matters

  • Migraine is a common neurological disorder marked by unilateral throbbing head pain, sensitivity to light and sound and/or nausea and vomiting. Migraines may or may not be accompanied by a typical ‘aura’ of neurological disturbances, resulting in two prevalent subtypes: migraine with typical aura (MTA) and migraine without aura.

  • Migraine both with and without aura have a high degree (40–70%) of heritability, but genome studies to date have only identified common genetic variants within migraine families.

  • A better understanding of the pathophysiology of migraine by identifying rare genetic variants may help improve treatment.

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