Migraine Genetics

migraine attack

In migraine attack, genetics plays a significant impact. As a result, it is commonly passed down through families. It is estimated that up to 60% of the time, people have migraines because of their genetics. People with these genes are more vulnerable to changes in their environment, such as lifestyle variables and triggers, which might cause an attack. A single gene mutation or alteration is unlikely to cause migraine in the majority of patients. It is more likely to result from the interaction of numerous different genes. Even if you have the genes that raise your odds of getting migraines, there is still a chance that you may not develop them. This is most likely because migraine is influenced by factors outside of the body, such as stress or hormonal changes. Complex genetic illnesses, such as migraine, are diseases in which genes and the environment interact.


Types of Genetic Factors in A Migraine Attack


There is no clear-cut form of inheritance where certain genes cause migraine in the more prevalent types of migraine. Some genes are thought to be linked, with vulnerability in those genes. This is known as an ‘association,’ which means that if you have a specific gene variation, you are more likely to develop the condition.



Mutations in particular genes cause some additional forms of migraine. You will get a certain form of migraine if you have those mutations; they don’t just enhance your chances of getting one, they cause it. CACNA1A, ATP1A2, and SCN1A are the three recognized causative genes in hemiplegic migraines. Mutations in these genes cause hemiplegic migraine, an uncommon kind of migraine with aura. The function of ion channels is influenced by these genes, which have an impact on nerve activity. So, what exactly are ion channel genes and what do they do? Ion channel or transporter genes are involved in the movement of salts. They are significant because they can predict how easily our nerves are activated and how they will react when stimulated. In recent years, it has become apparent that migraine is primarily a neural system illness. According to Mayo Clinic, a migraine aura is a group of symptoms that appear before or during a migraine attack. Auras can induce problems with vision, touch, and speech. Because an aura can occur before the onset of a migraine attack, it is frequently used as a warning sign. Auras usually start around an hour before the onset of a migraine and linger for less than 60 minutes. An aura isn’t present in every migraine attack.


TRESK gene mutation and migraines

A gene named TRESK was shown to be directly associated with migraine in 2010. This was a vital element in assessing why some people are prone to developing the disease. Some researchers have looked at these genes in migraine sufferers, based on the theory that ion channels and transporters are crucial for migraine. This type of research led to the discovery of TRESK. In one person who suffers from migraines with aura, a defective mutation in the TRESK gene was discovered. The trigeminal ganglion, the brain’s major sensory relay station, is abundant in TRESK. The trigeminal ganglion is a vital structure located right outside the brain that is hypothesised to play a role in migraine headaches.


How might knowing that you have a genetic relation to a migraine attack help you?

Genetic Test - genetic relation to migraine
Genetic Test – genetic relation to migraine

Although it may seem contradictory, having a genetic link to migraine can be advantageous. This is because your family members who are familiar with the ailment can provide you with useful information and support. The following information from your family members may be useful to help cope with your migraine discomfort; what migraine triggers they face, the types of symptoms that they are suffering, and whether the frequency, severity or other aspects of their migraine attacks have changed throughout the years and the management of their symptoms with treatments or medication. Do you know that a DNA test kit can help discover if you are predisposed to migraines?

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