How Genetics Influence Episodic and Chronic Migraines

According to statistics, migraines are a common ailment as about 15% of the world’s population suffer from them at least once in their lives or frequently. In Russia, the rate is at 20%. Currently, the diagnosis and treatment methods of migraines are based on a patient’s grievances.

The Gene and Cell Technologies Lab and the KFU Neurobiology Lab conducted this research. For a period of 2 years, the team studied individuals for genetic markers of migraines. Their colleagues from the Kazan State Medical University and Saint Petersburg also contributed to this research study.

Aliya Yakubova, a Neurologist and junior research associate, stated that a chronic migraine is a much more severe ailment than an episodic migraine. Migraines are likely to develop into a chronic syndrome, so it is important to notice symptoms early, especially in those who may be affected with episodic migraines. These patients may be prescribed prevention medications to avoid developing chronic migraines.

This research that was done discovered genetic factors that protect individuals from the persistent nature of chronic migraines.

For the study, 50 patients who have no record of suffering from the ailment and 46 patients who have migraines were selected. They donated blood that would be used in DNA sequencing. During the sequencing process, the researchers discovered polymorphisms in the TRPV1 pain receptor. Because of this, the nucleotide G replaced the nucleotide A, which led to the change in amino acids.

Currently, the pilot studies have been finalized. However, the selection process will carry on and patients who suffer from episodic as well as chronic migraines are encouraged to enroll for the rest of the research.

Yakubova added that this would allow them to test the results on a larger selection of participants. If their findings produce the desirable results, then the team would like to introduce their conclusions into the clinical practice field. Patients who have AG or AA genotypes need to obtain long-term prevention therapy as these genotypes do not help avert migraine chronicity.

She continues that however, if they possess the genotype GG, migraine chronicity is highly unlikely so only symptomatic therapy can be authorized.

Their research has helped in finding significant differences in polymorphisms in individuals with episodic vs. chronic migraines. Simply put, this means that there is a degree to which genetic predisposition to migraines exists and there also exist prevention factors as well as risk factors of the AA, AG and GG genotypes.

It is this kind of thorough research that has helped biomed companies like 180 Life Sciences Corp. to come up with novel drugs addressing some of the most challenging inflammatory conditions.

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