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Hope for migraine sufferers

27th September 2010

Researchers have discovered a defective gene associated with migraine which could pave the way for new treatments for the condition.

Headache

According to the results of a study published in Nature Medicine the defective gene could aid the triggering of migraines.

Migraines are suffered by one in five people and cause a severe and painful headache, which can also cause nausea and light sensitivity. Some migraine sufferers experience an "aura" around objects which warns them that an attack is on its way.

The researchers, from the Medical Research Council's Functional Genomics Unit at the University of Oxford, identified a gene called TRESK which directly linked to cauding migraines in certain sufferers.

The research found that if the gene does not function in the correct way, a sufferer can be more susceptible to environmental triggers which can lead to a severe headache.

Dr Zameel Cader, one of the MRC researchers, said: "Previous studies have 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."

What we've found is that migraines seem to depend on how excitable our nerves are in specific parts of the brain."

 

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