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Migraine: A Complex Genetic Disorder
Wessman M, Terwindt G, et al.
Posted: June 2007  
The Lancet Neurology, June 2007; Vol. 6

Although family and twin studies show that there is a genetic component to migraine, no genes predisposing to common forms of the disorder have been identified. The most encouraging findings have emerged from the identification of genes causing rare mendelian traits that phenotypically resemble migraine. These studies have pointed migraine research towards ion-transport genes; however, there is no direct evidence of the involvement of these genes in common forms of migraine. Family-based linkage studies have identified several chromosomal regions linked to common forms of migraine, but there is little consistency between studies. The modest success in the identification of contributing gene variants has stimulated research into more effective strategies. These include new phenotyping methods for genetic studies and new study designs -- such as case-control and whole-genome association studies -- to identify common variants contributing to the trait.