Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Researchers Uncover Genetic Clues to Basis of Migraine


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By studying a severe, but rare form of migraine called familial hemiplegic migraine, researchers believe they have discovered the biological basis of migraine disease.

The same genetic mutation that is being studied in connection with epilepsy was studied by researchers to determine how it relates to familial hemiplegic migraine.

The mutation is in sodium channels - tunnels in brain cells that allow electrical conduction of nerve impulses. When they are functioning properly, these sodium channels open briefly to allow sodium to flow into the cell, but stay closed most of the time. When not functioning properly, they tend to stay open too long and may spark the aura experienced during some migraines.

Researchers speculate that by developing medications that address the malfunctioning sodium channels they may be able to circumvent the migraine process.

Source:
Migraine Mutations Reveal Clues to Biological Basis of Disorder

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