Genetics Appear Connected To Migraines

Doctors have been able to determine migraines are brought on by a cascade of triggers, but have yet to determine what begins the domino effect.

Doctor bed

Photo: Dan Goldblatt (WFIU News)

Doctors hope to find what actually triggers the migraines, and point to possible gene therapy as a treatment.

Researchers believe they may have found a connection between certain genes and migraine headaches. Dr. Ed Zdobylak of the St. Vincent Headache Center says there is a strong genetic component especially on the women’s side.

“We definitely see there is a strong genetic component,” he said, “especially on the women’s side going through mom, aunt, sister all the way back”

Zdobylak says the gene research may be a help in determining some of the precursors for migraine headaches but probably won‘t have an effect on current pain management.

“One of the things we are looking at,” he said, “is we have medicines today to take to when you get the headaches, to prevent the headaches but we still don’t know the precursor that triggers it all. That’s where some of these genes are going to come into play and as of right now, the current study won’t change management today”

Zdobylak says researchers and doctors have been able to determine migraines are brought on by a cascade of triggers, but have yet to determine what begins the domino effect.

Some common migraine triggers include weather patterns such as low pressure systems, temperature changes, food, and stress.

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