Genetic Locus Linked to Migraine Risk in African American Children

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
"DNA model" by Caroline Davis2010 is licensed under CC BY 2.0Hakon Hakonarson, MD, PhD
Corresponding Author
Xiao Chang, PhD
Lead Author
The Center for Applied Genomics
Children’s Hospital Philadelphia
PhiladelphiaPennsylvania

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Migraine is a genetic disorder characterized by recurrent and intense headaches often accompanied by visual disturbances. Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) are a powerful hypothesis-free tool for investigating the genetic architecture of human disease. Currently, multiple GWASs have been conducted on European adults with migraine that have successfully identified several migraine susceptibility genes involved in neuronal and vascular functions.

Considering the prevalence of migraines varies across ethnicities, the genetic risk factors may be different in patients of African ancestries and European ancestries. In addition, if migraine presents at an early age (childhood), it may reflect elevated biological predisposition from genetic factors or increased susceptibility to environmental risk factors.

We performed the first GWAS to investigate the susceptibility genes associated with migraine in African-American children. The main out come was that common variants at the 5q33.1 locus in the human genome are associated with migraine risk in African-American children. The genetic underpinnings at this locus responsible for this finding are less relevant in patients of European ancestry.  Continue reading

Migraines More Frequent With Increased Anxiety and Depression

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

“Headache.” by Avenue G is licensed under CC BY 2.0

“Headache.” by Avenue G

Fu-Chi Yang, M.D., Ph.D.Assistant Professor
Department of Neurology,
Tri-Service General Hospital
National Defense Medical Center
Taipei, Taiwan

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Migraineurs are likely to suffer from comorbid depression and anxiety. Furthermore, increased migraine frequency is associated with an increased risk of mood/anxiety disorders. It is not distinguished by grouping frequency of migraine attacks, whether it is associated with severity scores of depression and anxiety. Thus, we evaluated the relationship between severity of depression/anxiety and migraine frequency

We mainly found that the severity of depression (BDI and HADS-depression scores) and anxiety (HADS anxiety score) were related to migraine frequency, after adjusting confounding factors.

Continue reading

Pregnant Women With Severe Migraine Should Be Considered High Risk

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Matthew S. Robbins, MD, FAHS Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine Chief of Neurology, Jack D. Weiler Hospital, Montefiore Medical Center Director of Inpatient Services, Montefiore Headache Center Associate Program Director, Neurology Residency

Dr. Matthew Robbins

Matthew S. Robbins, MD, FAHS
Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Chief of Neurology, Jack D. Weiler Hospital
Montefiore Medical Center
Director of Inpatient Services, Montefiore Headache Center
Associate Program Director, Neurology Residency

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Robbins: It is now well-established that having a history of migraine increases the risk of having vascular and obstetrical complications for pregnant women.  What is not known is if having active migraine during pregnancy would increase complications later on in that very same pregnancy.  Having severe migraine attacks during pregnancy may indicate particularly severe and active disease.  We evaluated pregnant women who presented to the hospital setting with acute, severe migraine attacks, and then reviewed their records for what happened during the same pregnancy when they delivered.  We found that compared to local and national rates, pregnant women with severe migraine attacks presenting to the hospital have increased rates of preeclampsia, preterm delivery, and low birthweight.  This risk was particularly elevated in pregnant women age 35 years or older.

Continue reading

Comorbid Psychiatric Conditions Can Increase Migraine Disability

Dr. Mia T. Minen, MD, MPH Director, Headache Services at NYU Langone Medical Center Assistant professor, Department of Neurology

Dr. Mia T. Minen

More on Mental Health Research on MedicalResearch.com

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr Mia Tova Minen
Department of Neurology
NYU Langone Medical Center
New York, NY 10016

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Minen: Migraine affects 12% of adults in the United States, and is thus a very common condition. There are effective treatments for migraine patients, but we also know that if patients and their doctors do not consider the psychiatric disorders that can co-occur with migraine, migraines can worsen, a term called migraine chronification. Thus, we felt that it was important to discuss the various psychiatric disorders associated with migraine, the screening tools available to assess for them, and various treatment considerations for patients with migraine and psychiatric conditions.

We also discussed potential explanations for the relationship between migraine and these psychiatric conditions.

Continue reading

Migraines Associated With Increased Risk of Silent Stroke

MedicalResearch Interview with:
Dr. Teshamae Monteith MD
Assistant professor of Neurology
Chief of the Headache Division
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study?
Dr. Monteith:   

  • A doubling of silent brain infarctions in those with migraine even after adjusting for other stroke risk factors;
  • No increase in the volume of white-matter hyperintensities (small blood vessel abnormalities) that have been associated with migraine in other studies;
  • Migraines with aura — changes in vision or other senses preceding the headache — wasn’t common in participants and wasn’t necessary for the association with silent cerebral infarctions.
  • High blood pressure, another important stroke risk factor, was more common in those with migraine. But the association between migraine and silent brain infarction was also found in participants with normal blood pressure.

Continue reading

Pediatric Migraines: Cognitive Therapy Plus Amitriptyline

Scott W. Powers, PhD APBB Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology and Division of Neurology, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OhioMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Scott W. Powers, PhD APBB
Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology and
Division of Neurology, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Powers: Cognitive behavioral therapy plus amitriptyline resulted in greater reductions in days with headache and migraine-related disability compared with the use of headache education plus amitriptyline.  Children and adolescents with chronic migraine began the study with an average of 21 days with headache per 28 days and disability measured in the severe range.  After 20 weeks of treatment, 2 out of 3 participants in the CBT group had a 50% or greater reduction in headache days and 3 out of 4 had a reduction in disability to the mild to none range.
Continue reading