Researchers have discovered the first common gene linked to migraine risk, according to their report in Nature Genetics. The researchers compared DNA samples from 2,731 migraine sufferers to 10,747 otherwise similar subjects, examining more than 400,000 DNA sequences per participant. A variation in only one sequence, on the long arm of chromosome 8, appeared to have any effect on the debilitating condition.
The researchers confirmed their initial findings by examining this sequence in another 3,202 people with migraine and 40,062 controls. Overall, 24.3% of migraine sufferers and 20.6% of on-sufferers carried the variant-an 18% higher rate for sufferers. The sequence’s location, between two genes that help regulate the neurotransmitter glutamate, provides fresh clues for understanding and treating migraine.

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