For some of us, migraines can become debilitating. It’s no surprise that the pain of a migraine can knock us out of commission, especially when you get that occasional burst of nausea from the pain. There’s no Advil strong enough and no Tylenol smart enough to make it completely melt away.
Dale Nyholt, the Associate Professor at QUT’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, led a team of researches to track down exactly why you’re getting your migraines (and it’s not because of the weather). Nyholm’s findings, which were published in Nature Genetics, linked over 30 different genes to the cause of migraines. Thanks mom and dad.
“The exact causes of migraine are unknown and there are no recognisable, diagnostic, pathological changes, however, twin and family studies indicate that [a] migraine has a significant genetic component,” Nyholm said.
The study looked at the genetic history of 59,674 people who have migraines and 316,078 people who don’t get migraines from 22 other studies. Low and behold, those who suffer regularly from migraines had one of the 38 different genes that the control group did not have.
Nyholt’s study also reports that migraines are caused by vascular dysfunction instead of brain dysfunction.
“We now know more about the biology, what genes, what pathways are associated with a migraine headache and, therefore, it has given us real targets to organise and work out which pharmaceutical will target those pathways,” he said. Which means migraines might be treated in the future by targeting vascular dysfunction instead of brain dysfunction.
If that Advil or Tylenol isn’t helping, stay calm, because that migraine might be the last you ever get. Especially when science is one step closer to finding you that cure.