Published: 03-02-2022 17:34 | Updated: 03-02-2022 17:34

New genetic risk factors revealed in largest genetic study of migraine to date

Croped portrait of Caroline Ran and Andrea Carmine Belin.
Caroline Ran and Andrea Carmine Belin. Photo: Stefan Zimmerman

Thanks to a groundbreaking study, leading migraine scientists can better understand the biological basis of migraine and its subtypes and could speed up the search for new treatment of the condition, which affects over a billion individuals wordwide. The new findings, published in the journal Nature Genetics, uncovered more of the genetic architecture of migraine subtypes than was previously known.

The study involved leading migraine research groups in Europe, Australia and the United States working together to pool genetic data from more than 873,000 study participants, 102,000 of whom had migraine. 

The researchers have more than tripled the number of known genetic risk factors for migraine. Among the identified 123 genetic regions there are two that contain target genes of recently developed migraine-specific drugs.


Genome-wide analysis of 102,084 migraine cases identifies 123 risk loci and subtype-specific risk alleles.
Heidi Hautakangas, Bendik S. Winsvold, ... Matti Pirinen
Nature Genetics, February 3, 2022, doi: 10.1038/s41588-021-00990-0