What are the genetics factors in the etiology of migraine headache?

Updated: Oct 21, 2019
  • Author: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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Migraine has a strong genetic component. Approximately 70% of migraine patients have a first-degree relative with a history of migraine. The risk of migraine is increased 4-fold in relatives of people who have migraine with aura. [29]

Nonsyndromic migraine headache with or without aura generally shows a multifactorial inheritance pattern, but the specific nature of the genetic influence is not yet completely understood. Certain rarer syndromes with migraine as a clinical feature generally show an autosomal dominant inheritance pattern. [30]

However, recent genome-wide association studies have suggested 4 regions in which single-nucleotide polymorphisms influence the risk of developing migraine headache. [31, 32, 33] Other associations have been found in individual studies but could not be replicated in other populations.

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