Genetic variants associated with susceptibility to common migraine are reported this week in Nature Genetics.
Migraine is a common and heterogeneous neurological disorder, affecting up to 20% of the population, and is more prevalent in women.
Markus Schuerks and colleagues report a genome-wide association study for common migraine in 5,122 women reporting migraines and 18,103 women reporting no migraines from a population-based study. They identified three genomic regions associated with susceptibility to migraine, two of which were specific for a migraine versus a non-migraine headache. In replication studies including both sexes, they found that one of these regions showed a stronger association in women. One of the candidate genes, TRPM8, is expressed in neurons and encodes a sensor for pain. A second candidate gene, LRP1, is involved in sensing the extracellular environment and neurotransmitter pathways.