In 2013, researchers released their findings on new genetic causes of migraines. They discovered several shared traits among migraine sufferers that seem to indicate a hereditary origin. 5 separate segments of the genetic code were discovered that track the links among those suffering from migraine headaches.

Some of these genes were linked to brain circuitry and others were responsible for keeping brain tissues healthy.

For years researchers have been trying to identify genetic codes that may be responsible for debilitating headache pain. Migraines have long been difficult to control but advancements in medicine and studies like these are advancing our understanding.

There may even be a link between migraines and epilepsy, another misunderstood diagnosis that can be difficult to treat. A study conducted by Columbia University in New York appears to have linked migraine headaches in individuals with those who have 1 or more family members suffering from seizure disorders. Their study indicated that migraine sufferers who experienced auras along with their pain were likely to have a genetic link with epilepsy. 25% of the patients monitored who had at least 2 relatives with a seizure disorder experienced migraine headaches with auras.

Reviewing your family history can unlock some of the mysteries of migraines. Regardless of the discovery of genes responsible for this pain, doctors have long seen a link in patients who have a family history of chronic migraines. Medical professionals currently believe that patients have a 50% chance of developing migraine headaches if 1 parent also suffers from the condition. If both parents experience these headaches, the likelihood increases to 75%.

With these advancements, doctors may be more able to pinpoint the cause of migraine pain and design more effective treatment plans for their patients.

Do your parents suffer from migraine headaches as well or could there be a link to someone with a seizure disorder in your family?

Image by MIKI Yoshihito via Flickr


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