Migraines: risk gene discovered.
(08/30/2010) Millions of people in Germany suffer from migraines. An international team of researchers has now discovered a risk gene that significantly increases the risk of migraines. This confirms what experts have long suspected: migraines are hereditary.
Gene variant "rs1835740" responsible for migraines. As part of the study, scientists compared the genome of more than 50,000 people from Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Iceland and Denmark and were able to identify a special gene marker on the eighth chromosome as increasing the risk of migraines. About 20 percent more often people with the gene variant "rs1835740" suffer from headaches, accompanied by classic migraine symptoms, according to the results of the studies now published in the journal "Nature Genetics".
Incorrect glutamate regulation leads to headaches.
The described gene variant (alleles) is in close proximity to two other genes (PGCP and MTDH), which in turn take on important tasks in glutamate regulation. According to the study director Verneri Anttila from the University of Helsinki, "rs1835740" influences the supply of the neurotransmitter glutamate to the synapses via the neighboring genes. As a neurotransmitter, glutamate is responsible for the flow of information between nerve cells and the brain. If the glutamate regulation does not work at the intersections of the flow of information, the synapses, according to the researchers, a kind of data congestion occurs that can apparently trigger migraines. According to the study, a special protein, which is not released in migraine patients, is normally responsible for regulation. "An accumulation of glutamate in the brain could play a key role in the development of migraines," said co-author Christian Kubisch from the University of Cologne to "Spiegel Online". In his opinion, it is likely that the glutamate excess at the synapses triggers the massive headache.
Eight million people in Germany suffer from migraines. Around eight million people in Germany suffer from migraines, and the intensity of the symptoms varies greatly. The range extends from pulsating headaches, nausea and sensitivity to light and noise to vomiting, tunnel vision, speech disorders and numbness in the fingers and arms. In Europe around 17 percent of women and eight percent of men are affected by the disease of the nervous system. Some patients have their first relapses as early as puberty, but the significant headaches usually only appear in adulthood. With the results of the study, there is finally an answer to the question of why they in particular suffer from migraine attacks. It can also be hoped that preparations will soon be developed on the basis of the findings that have a direct influence on glutamate regulation during treatment.
Botox helps with migraines. Only recently, two studies that successfully tested a new treatment method with botulinum toxin (“Botox”) on migraine patients have made a name for themselves. According to this, an injection of the neurotoxin into the head and neck muscles can effectively relieve the pain of the patient. The mode of action has not yet been clarified, but the success was obvious. In addition, with precise application of the neurotoxin, correspondingly low side effects of the therapy can be expected, according to a spokesman for the German Migraine and Headache Society (DMKG). In addition, a Norwegian study of teenagers found that overweight, smoking young people in particular suffer from headaches with too little exercise, and an unhealthy lifestyle increases the risk of migraines. Conversely, this means that a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and plenty of exercise minimizes the risk of illness.
Naturopathy offers alternative treatments for migraines. Even with naturopathic methods, good results have already been achieved in treating migraines. After the therapist first analyzes the amnesis of the cause of the pain, appropriate treatments are then initiated. These can range from biofeedback, drainage procedures (e.g. cupping), therapeutic fasting and neural therapy, to homeopathy, osteopathy and relaxation methods, to acupuncture and arm and foot baths. (fp)
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