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Three for the Headache

Researchers at Harvard Medical School have uncovered three susceptibility loci associated with migraine. As they report in Nature Genetics, the researchers conducted a genome-wide association study of 5,122 people with a history of migraine and 18,108 without. Three SNPs, rs2651899 in PRDM16, rs10166942 in TRPM8, and rs11172113 in LRP1, were among the top associations with migraine, and were also found to be significant in three replication cohorts and in a meta-analysis of the discovery and replication cohorts, the authors report. As Agence-France Presse points out, the variants in PRDM16 and TRPM8 were found to be specific to migraine versus non-migraine headaches and the TRPM8 variant was specific to migraine in women. "While migraine remains incompletely understood and its underlying causes difficult to pin down, identifying these three genetic variants helps shed light on the biological roots for this common and debilitating condition," said lead author Daniel Chasman in a statement. His colleague Markus Schürks tells AFP that "inheritance of any of the genetic variants alters migraine risk by about 10 to 15 percent."