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The “typical” migraines: genetic studies and some practical considerations

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Epidemiological genetic, family and twin studies show that the typical migraines carry a substantial genetic risk; they are currently conceptualized as complex genetic diseases. Several genetic association and linkage studies have been performed in the typical migraines. Candidate gene studies based on “a priori” pathogenic models of migraine (migraine as a calcium channelopathy; a mitochondrial DNA disorder; a disorder in the metabolism of serotonin or dopamine; in vascular risk factors or in the inflammation cascade; etc.) did not result in uniformely accepted findings. Linkage and genome wide scans gave evidence for several genetic susceptibility loci, still however in need of confirmation. Careful dissection of the clinical phenotypes and trigger factors shall greatly help future efforts in the quest for the genetic basis of the typical migraines.

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Correspondence to Pasquale Montagna.

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Montagna, P., Cortelli, P. & Mochi, M. The “typical” migraines: genetic studies and some practical considerations. J Headache Pain 4, 47–56 (2003) doi:10.1007/s10194-003-0030-0

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Key words

  • Migraine
  • Aura
  • Genetics
  • Cardiovascular risk


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