The results of the research open the way to finding targeted therapies that can reduce the intensity and frequency of migraine attacks
Headache is one of the most common diseases in the world. Science has made great strides in terms of causes and therapy. Recently the brain was photographed during a migraine attack. In any case, there is still no certainty as to why the man suffers from a headache. The main problem is that the affected area is so delicate that it is difficult to study even the phenomenon. It could in fact be linked to nervous contractions of the brain which makes the blood flow insufficient to oxygenate it.
Now a group of American and Australian researchers has made a fundamental discovery, identifying the link between migraine and 44 DNA variants. The tests compared 8 million DNA variants belonging to about 60 thousand migraine sufferers with a control group (placebo) of 316 thousand participants in 22 different genome studies. The study, published in the journal Nature Genetics, promises to improve the treatment of this disease in all its forms, from the lightest to the most serious.
Dale Nyholt, of the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation in Brisbane and lead author of the study, explained:
The exact causes of migraine are unknown and there are no recognizable, diagnostic or pathological signs. We do not know what triggers the disorder, but studies by twins and family groups indicate that migraine has a significant genetic component.
The discovery of the 44 DNA variants has interesting perspectives because it will be possible to identify specific and more targeted diagnoses. The goal of the researchers is now to find the most frequent variant in cases of migraine compared with the control group. In this way it will be possible to find a more effective treatment able to counter the symptoms of headache. With targeted medicines it would be possible to restore the balance between the enzymes and the proteins involved, reducing the intensity and frequency of migraine attacks.