Researchers 'closing in on cause of migraines'

25 June 2013

Medical researchers believe they are closer to finding out the causes of migraines.

Scientists at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute say they have identified five areas of the brain which contain genes linked to the onset of intense headaches.

They believe the finding could "open new doors" to understanding the causes of migraines, reports the BBC.

Dr Padhraig Gormley, one of the experts involved in the healthcare research project, said that at a fundamental biological level, the precise causes are not known.

"Many people find it very debilitating, becoming overly-sensitive to stimuli such as light and sound," he stated.

"They find it very difficult to function and just want to lock themselves away in a darkened room."

Dr Gormley said the five new genetic regions identified by the study increase individuals' susceptibility to developing migraines.

"There were already seven regions discovered, so we have 12 now," he stated.

"We think there should be many, many more, so there is still a lot of work to do."

Posted by Jeanette Royston

Verneri Anttila, Bendik S. Winsvold, Padhraig Gormley et al. "Genome-wide meta-analysis identifies new susceptibility loci for migraine." Nature Genetics 2013.  Sunday, June 23rd 2013.

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