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.