Gene Patterns of Chronic Migraine Headaches

 

Migraines Are Heritable

Gene patterns in migraine headaches demonstrate strong association with sensitivity and susceptibility in families. Migraine headaches are known to cluster in families and have long been considered to be an inherited disorder. Migraine, with aura or without aura, has a substantial risk of familial occurrence, and genetic epidemiologic studies suggest that migraine without aura and migraine with aura have distinct and unique heritability. Twin studies reveal that approximately one half of the variation in migraine is attributable to additive genes, while the remainder is caused by unshared rather than shared environmental factors between twins. [1]

Complex segregation analyses (CSA), a technique within genetic epidemiology to determine whether there is evidence that a major gene underlies the distribution of a given phenotypic trait, have demonstrated that a multifactorial heredity model, wherein multiple genetic susceptibility factors interact with multiple environmental factors and render an individual susceptible to recurrent attacks, is most compatible with the mode of inheritance of migraine.[2] Migraine, like many complex multifactorial inherited diseases, is co-transmitted with other disorders. Migraine, anxiety, and depression are comorbid and share common genetic traits.[3]

 

Migraines are Multifactorial

There are associated gene disturbances in migraine patterns. Identifying the genes associated with these disturbances is key to developing accurate diagnosis and actionable targeted treatment. Migraines vary in intensity and usually cause throbbing pain in one area of the head, often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. These recurrent headaches typically begin in childhood or adolescence and can be triggered by certain foods, emotional stress, and minor head trauma. Each headache may last from a few hours to a few days.

Severe migraine episodes have been reported in some people with familial hemiplegic migraine. These episodes have included fever, seizures, prolonged weakness, coma, and, rarely, death. Although most people with familial hemiplegic migraine recover completely between episodes, neurological symptoms such as memory loss and problems with attention can last for weeks or months. About 20 percent of people with this condition develop mild but permanent difficulty coordinating movements (ataxia), which may worsen with time, and rapid, involuntary eye movements called nystagmus.

 

Common Migraine Symptoms

  • Severe headache (with or without aura)
  • Fatigue
  • Food cravings
  • Thirst
  • Mood changes
  • Neck stiffness
  • Vision issues – blurring, spots, flashes, etc.
  • Light sensitivity
  • Sound sensitivity
  • Temporary loss of hearing
  • Ear pain
  • Sinus pressure
  • Dizziness / vertigo
  • Numbness / tingling / weakness
  • Nausea / vomiting

 

GeneSavvy MigrainePainGS

The GeneSavvy MigrainePainGS Panel is a unique genetic sequencing service that looks at genes associated with disorders that feature migraine pain, including coenzyme Q10 deficiency, mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, advanced sleep-phase syndrome, dystonia, and others. The panel also looks at major biochemical pathways and receptors that can play a role.[4][5] The genetic analysis identifies:

  • Exon variants in 250 genes associated with migraine disorders
  • SNP analysis for 1100 common general wellness single genetic locations
  • Genetic data results with references and informational links delivered securely to your healthcare provider 

 

Some Migraine-Related Disorders

  • CoQ-10 deficiency
  • Riboflavin deficiency
  • GLUT1 deficiency
  • Mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome
  • Advanced sleep-phase syndrome
  • Dystonia
  • Periodic fever
  • Episodic pain syndrome

 

Key Migraine Genes:

ATP1A2, ATP1A3, CACNA1A, CACNA1S, COQ2, COQ4, COQ6, COQ7, COQ8A, CSNK1D, GABBR2, GABRA1, GABRA2, GABRA3, GABRB1, GABRB2, GABRB3, GABRD, GABRE, GABRG2, GABRQ, GRIN1, GRIN2A, GRIN2B, GRIN2C, GRIN2D, GRIN3A, GRIN3B, GRINA, HTR1A, HTR2A, HTR3A, KCNK18, MAGT1, MR1, MTHFR, NOTCH3, PDSS1, PDSS2, POLG, PRRT2, SCN10A, SCN11A, SCN1A, SCN9A, SLC2A1, SLC52A1, SLC6A4, TRAP1

 

Typical Migraine Treatments

Supplements Diet and Specific Treatment

  • CoQ-10 (Coenzyme Q-10)
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
  • 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan)
  • Magnesium
  • Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium)
  • Ginger
  • L-5MTHF (L-Methylfolate)
  • Lifestyle Management
  • Grain and Gluten-free diet
  • Ketogenic diet
  • Low Antigen Diet
  • Biohomeopathic Approaches
  • Cervical and Soft Tissue Corrections
  • Group IV Laser Therapy
  • BoTox Injections
  • Caffeine, alcohol, and MSG avoidance
  • Trigger identification and avoidance

Acute Medications

  • Analgesics / NSAIDs
  • Anti-migraine medications
  • Anti-nausea medications

Preventative Medications

  • Beta-blockers
  • Anti-serotonergic medications (SSRIs)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)
  • Anti-convulsants (AEDs)
  • Calcium channel blockers

 

Conclusion

Identifying key gene / variants associated with chronic pain and migraine patterns is an extremely valuable clinical / diagnostic / actionable treatment analysis. Utilizing genetic testing along with identifying environmental influences upon gene sensitivity and susceptibility is a vital first step in identifying initiating factors in chronic pain and migraine patterns. [6]

 

 

 

 

 

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15613211

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8522335

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8366469

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3763681/

[5] https://genomemedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13073-016-0346-4

[6] https://thejournalofheadacheandpain.springeropen.com/track/pdf/10.1186/s10194-017-0729-y?site=thejournalofheadacheandpain.springeropen.com