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Meta-analysis of 375,000 individuals identifies 38 susceptibility loci for migraine

By Padhraig Gormley, Verneri Anttila, Bendik S Winsvold, Priit Palta, Tonu Esko, Tune H. Pers, Kai-How Farh, Ester Cuenca-Leon, Mikko Muona, Nicholas A. Furlotte, Tobias Kurth, Andres Ingason, George McMahon, Lannie Ligthart, Gisela M Terwindt, Mikko Kallela, Tobias M Freilinger, Caroline Ran, Scott G Gordon, Anine H Stam, Stacy Steinberg, Guntram Borck, Markku Koiranen, Lydia Quaye, Hieab HH Adams, Terho Lehtimäki, Antti-Pekka Sarin, Juho Wedenoja, David A. Hinds, Julie E Buring, Markus Schürks, Paul M Ridker, Maria Gudlaug Hrafnsdottir, Hreinn Stefansson, Susan M. Ring, Jouke-Jan Hottenga, Brenda W.J.H. Penninx, Markus Färkkilä, Ville Artto, Mari Kaunisto, Salli Vepsäläinen, Rainer Malik, Andrew C Heath, Pamela A F Madden, Nicholas G Martin, Grant W. Montgomery, Eija Hämäläinen, Hailiang Huang, Andrea E Byrnes, Lude Franke, Jie Huang, Evie Stergiakouli, Phil H. Lee, Cynthia Sandor, Caleb Webber, Zameel Cader, Bertram Muller-Myhsok, Stefan Schreiber, Thomas Meitinger, Johan G. Eriksson, Veikko Salomaa, Kauko Heikkilä, Elizabeth Loehrer, Andre G Uitterlinden, Albert Hofman, Cornelia M. van Duijn, Lynn Cherkas, Linda M Pedersen, Audun Stubhaug, Christopher S Nielsen, Minna Männikkö, Evelin Mihailov, Lili Milani, Hartmut Göbel, Ann-Louise Esserlind, Anne Francke Christensen, Thomas Folkmann Hansen, Thomas Werge, Jaakko Kaprio, Arpo J Aromaa, Olli Raitakari, M Arfan Ikram, Tim Spector, Marjo-Riitta Järvelin, Andres Metspalu, Christian Kubisch, David P Strachan, Michel D Ferrari, Andrea C Belin, Martin Dichgans, Maija Wessman, Arn MJM van den Maagdenberg, John-Anker Zwart, Dorret I Boomsma, George Davey Smith, Kari Stefansson, Nicholas Eriksson, Mark J. Daly, Benjamin M Neale, Jes Olesen, Daniel I Chasman, Dale R Nyholt, Aarno Palotie, on behalf of the International Headache Genetics Consortium

Posted 03 Nov 2015
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/030288 (published DOI: 10.1038/ng.3598)

Migraine is a debilitating neurological disorder affecting around 1 in 7 people worldwide, but its molecular mechanisms remain poorly understood. Some debate exists over whether migraine is a disease of vascular dysfunction, or a result of neuronal dysfunction with secondary vascular changes. Genome-wide association (GWA) studies have thus far identified 13 independent loci associated with migraine. To identify new susceptibility loci, we performed the largest genetic study of migraine to date, comprising 59,674 cases and 316,078 controls from 22 GWA studies. We identified 45 independent single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) significantly associated with migraine risk (P < 5 x 10-8) that map to 38 distinct genomic loci, including 28 loci not previously reported and the first locus identified on chromosome X. Furthermore, a subset analysis for migraine without aura (MO) identified seven of the same loci as from the full sample, whereas no loci reached genome-wide significance in the migraine with aura (MA) subset. In subsequent computational analyzes, the identified loci showed enrichment for genes expressed in vascular and smooth muscle tissues, consistent with a predominant theory of migraine that highlights vascular etiologies.

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