An Inherent Gene Could Affect Sleep Patterns and Stimulate Migraines

Researchers from a Los Angeles migraine study report a mutation on a gene that appears to promote migraines and increase the risk of a sleep disorder. Printed in Science Transitional Medicine in May 2013, the study’s findings could help find a link between sleep problems and migraines. It could excite and make the processes easier for finding new medications to treat migraines.
At ONE Brain and Spine Center, Dr. Burak Ozgur and the medical staff integrate orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, and excellence to create a healthcare center for patients in need of treatment and/or surgery. Research studies play a vital part in the growth of ONE and the potential to incorporate new practices and technologies. The ONE Center is located in Irvine and continues to serve the greater part of the California communities.
Migraine headaches interfere with daily activities and can make the easiest of routines harder than ever. Weather, light, and sound immensely affect the intensity of a headache, and from this recent study, inherent genes could be a part of the migraine condition.
The researchers began studying a family who all had migraine headaches. They immediately discovered that the family is early birds (usually in bed by 8 p.m., and awake by 5 a.m.). This condition is called “advanced sleep phase.” With this information, the researchers traced the family’s history and found a mutation on a gene that controls circadian rhythms. Andrew Charles, a UCLA neurologist, explains that the team “turned [their] attention to the question of how this gene mutation could be involved in migraine.”
Firstly, the team brought in a second family who was in a study at UCSF. This second family had a different mutation on the same gene. Interestingly enough, this family also has early advanced sleep phase.
Secondly, the researchers studied mice with the same mutated gene. Louis Ptacek, one of the head researchers on the study, instructed the team to study the behavior of the mice to figure out if they experienced migraine symptoms. This task proved to be difficult because you cannot simply ask a mouse if he/she has a migraine. Instead, the team started looking for other signs such as sensitivity to heat and touch.
The study found that the mice with the mutated gene were more susceptible to migraines than a mouse without it. The researchers found that the mice had brain alterations much like people who experience a migraine.
From this study, there is direct evidence between sleep patterns and migraines. Sleeplessness is known to be a migraine trigger, and many patients will say that they are unable to sleep because of migraine attacks.
Emily Bates, one of the researchers from the study, is a migraine sufferer herself. She hopes the study will provide help to better design medications.
ONE Brain and Spine Center patients can expect the best care and assistance with treating their migraine pain symptoms. By understanding sleep patterns, the physicians can better create treatment plans to help increase quality of life.
ONE Brain & Spine Center is the premier spine and brain center in Irvine, California, offering minimally invasive spine surgeries and minimally invasive orthopedic surgeries. For more information or to make an appointment, please call (949) 383-4190.
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.

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