herald

Wednesday 23 January 2019

Suffering migraines could be in your genes

MIGRAINE sufferers were offered new hope today after researchers identified a faulty gene responsible for the debilitating headaches.

The finding could lead to better treatment and improve the quality of life for the one in five people with the neurological disorder.

Scientists at the University of Oxford, along with colleagues in Canada, took DNA samples from migraine sufferers and their families.

They found that if a gene called Tresk is defective it can trigger pain nerves in the brain and cause a severe headache.

The discovery explains why people in the same family often suffer from the condition and could lead to new drugs that can switch off the pain.

Dr Zameel Cader, from the University of Oxford, said: "We have now made a major step forward in our understanding of why people suffer with migraine and how in certain cases, your family can literally give you a headache.

"Previous studies identified parts of our DNA that increase the risk in the general population but have not found genes which can be directly responsible for common migraine.

"This finding could help find a new way to fight migraines."

The World Health Organisation rates migraine as a leading cause of disability worldwide.

hnews@herald.ie

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