New hope for migraine sufferers: Female gene link identified

June 4, 2012

New hope has arrived for migraine sufferers following a Griffith University study with the people of Norfolk Island.

Led by Professor Lyn Griffiths from the University's Griffith Health Institute, the team has identified a new region on the X chromosome as playing a role in migraine.

The research provides compelling evidence for a new migraine involved in migraine. The study also indicated that there may be more than one X chromosomal gene involved and implicated a gene involved in iron regulation in the brain.

All females have two X chromosomes whilst males have an X and a .

"These results provide more support for the role of the in migraine and may explain why so many more females suffer from the disorder," said Professor Griffiths.

Tracking down and identifying the various genes that cause migraine is very important as it provides insights to allow us to develop better means of diagnosis and more targeted treatments.

"Currently, 12 per cent of the population suffers from migraine. Even though we have some very good treatments for this very debilitating disease, they certainly don't work for everyone and can have some adverse side effects. Hence there is a real need to develop new migraine treatments."

This National Health and Medical Research Council funded work involved a unique population study of the remote Norfolk Island where 80 per cent of inhabitants are able to trace their ancestry back to the famous historical event, The Mutiny on the Bounty.

"This population was used due to its unusual pedigree structure in which can be traced through genealogical data to the island's original founders, and also the high incidence of in this population. It's very useful for purposes because of the reduced genetic and environmental diversity," said Professor Griffiths.

A comprehensive chromosome analysis of around 300 Norfolk participants from a large multigenerational Norfolk family, including many who are affected by migraine, was conducted using DNA samples obtained from the islanders.

Explore further: A pill to prevent migraine? Discovery of migraine gene could put it on the horizon

Related Stories

Many migraines may have a common genetic basis

June 13, 2011

(Medical Xpress) -- A study into the genetic basis of many common forms of migraine has identified three variants that suggest that most forms of migraine have a shared genetic foundation, regardless of how they manifest ...

Migraine linked to increased risk of depression in women

February 22, 2012

New research suggests women who have migraine or have had them in the past are at an increased risk for developing depression compared to women who have never had migraine. The study was released today and will be presented ...

Recommended for you

Study reveals the genetic start-up of a human embryo

September 3, 2015

An international team of scientists led from Sweden's Karolinska Institutet has for the first time mapped all the genes that are activated in the first few days of a fertilized human egg. The study, which is being published ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.