What is the role of calcium channelopathy in the pathogenesis of migraine?

Updated: Aug 15, 2019
  • Author: William C Robertson, Jr, MD; Chief Editor: Amy Kao, MD  more...
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Ion channels control and maintain electrical potentials across cell membranes. Mutations in ion channel genes cause numerous neurologic disorders. Brain-specific P/Q-type voltage-gated calcium channel alpha-1A subunit gene mutations are responsible for such diverse phenotypic symptoms as typical migraine with or without aura, familial hemiplegic migraine (FHM), episodic ataxia type 2, and spinocerebellar ataxia type 6.

Half of the known FHM cases studied have linkage to chromosome 19p13. Different missense mutations (R192Q, T666M, V714A, I1811L, G4644T) cause FHM with different phenotypic manifestations. Linkage to a separate gene on chromosome 1 has also been reported. An estimated 5% of migraineurs may carry a mutation in a calcium channel gene.

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