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Mechanism based migraine therapy gained steam in early 1990s and has led to an extensive research for improved understanding of genetics of classical and common migraine, as each has its own hereditary characteristics. This has steered the researchers to associate single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to migraine. rs16023 of CACNA1A gene is one among the SNPs that are localized for classical migraine. The study was conducted with cohort of 28 volunteers of South Indian origin comprising of 20 volunteers reporting migraine and 8 without migraine. Also in this cohort 16 were common migraineurs and 4 were classical migraineurs. The results of this study indicated that all the 3 female classical migraineurs out of the 4 classical migraineurs exhibited A to T polymorphism which points to the fact that, females are more prone to migraine and also females of South Indian origin show association of rs16023 SNP to classical migraine.
Recent advances in neurogenetics and technology has rendered it easier for the researchers to explore the DNA sequence of an individual in depth to solve a mystery related to a disease or disorder. One such mystical disorder is migraine, a most common cause of headaches, yet with no particular cause or cure. Migraine is a ubiquitous familial disorder characterized by periodic, commonly unilateral, often pulsatile headaches which begin in childhood, adolescence or early adult life and recur with diminishing frequency during advancing years (1). Migraine headaches can sometimes be very debilitating. Recently, it has been reported that migraine is hereditary (1). The genetics of classical and common migraine are not same. Early research and epidemiology studies have suggested that aura migraines and migraines without aura each have their own hereditary characteristics. Advancing neuroscience has enhanced our understanding of the migraine mechanisms and its polygenic inheritance. This has led researchers to dig deeper to associate single nucleotide polymorphisms to migraine. rs16023 of CACNA1A gene is one among many SNPs that are localized for classical migraine(2). The prevalence of migraine in Indian population is now getting increasingly recognized and the disability of migraine is the same as it is in other major diseases. Lack of a single well defined cause for migraine has hampered efforts in finding a cure so far. Since migraine is hereditary, genetic studies which may lead to localization and association of a particular SNP with migraine may lend support to efforts aimed at a better understanding of the disease.
In our study, the CACNA1A gene is found to be associated to female patients with classical migraine but not with the common migraineurs of South Indian origin. The females are found to be more prone to migraine than males probably due to the hormonal changes occurring within their system. It could be concluded that though there might be ethnic effects for migraine, still there could be a common link that should be explored which might be the cause for mutation in different ethnic groups. Due its polygenic inheritance, extensive research on influence of lineage ethnicity and gender based studies on genes and SNP association to migraine could lead to a better understanding the mechanism of pain phase in migraine and probably lead to a cure or prevention
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