Scientists believe they have identified a migraine gene that could be integral in developing solutions to the painful headaches. Migraines are identified by the World Health Organisation as one of the twenty top life disabling ailments and cost the economy an estimated 2 billion pounds per year in time and revenue losses.
In recent tests, when the DNA of migraine sufferers was compared with the DNA of other people, a genetic flaw became apparent. It seems that the migraine sufferers develop a build up of glutamate, which is a chemical that acts as a transmitter in the brain, between brain cells.
It may now be possible to treat migraines with drugs that stop the accumulation of glutamate. These drugs could eventually end the painful suffering of millions. In the past, studies have revealed genes linked to rare forms of migraine. Never before has a migraine gene been revealed in the case of its common form.
The number of study subjects was influential in the findings, many doctors feel. Never have we been able to bring so many people together to look closely into their genomes to find clues to the common migraine. International cooperation brought a wealth of expertise and data to bear on the study. Because of this extraordinary effort results were attained that, before, were out of reach
How soon this will spell an end to migraine headaches is anyone’s guess right now, but discovery of these genes leads science closer to a cure than ever before.