Understanding The Genetics of Headache

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Key Questions
  • Why do people have migraine?
  • How much of migraine is caused by genetic factors and how much by our environment?
  • What does it mean if a disorder is monogenic or polygenic?
  • Why is FHM (familial hemiplegic migraine) a monogenic disorder, and which genes are involved?
  • Why are most common migraine disorders polygenic?
  • What is CADASIL disorder, and why is it confused with migraine?
  • When is genetic testing useful for migraine diagnosis and treatment?
  • How common are gene mutations? Should we worry about them?
  • What are SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms), and how are they useful in genetics?
  • How many human genes are associated with migraine?
  • Do epigenetic changes in our DNA contribute to migraine?
  • What is pharmacogenetics and how can it change the treatment of migraine?
  • What is personalized medicine?
Interview Notes

Find out more about Lyn Griffiths, PhD and her work here:

No Treatments Mentioned

Please note: The Migraine World Summit’s aim is to bring you a variety of perspectives and expertise, independent of bias or judgment. Alternative theories presented in this video have not been medically reviewed. Views expressed in this interview do not necessarily represent the views of the Migraine World Summit. Please always consult your health care professional and do your own research before making changes to your treatment plan.

Professor Lyn Griffiths, PhD, BSc Hons

Director, Centre for Genomics & Personalised Health
Queensland University of Technology, Australia

Professor Lyn Griffiths is the executive director of the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, the largest interdisciplinary research institute at Queensland University of Technology. An active and respected molecular geneticist with more than 28 years of experience studying human complex gene disorders, with specific expertise in human gene mapping and gene expression analysis in migraine, cardiovascular disease, and several types of cancer. Professor Griffiths leads the Genomics Research Centre, in which the main focus of research is the identification of genes involved in common human disorders and the translation of this research into new diagnostics and therapeutics.

Professor Griffiths’ own genetics research has appeared in more than 350 peer-reviewed international journals and led to diagnostic breakthroughs for several neurogenetic disorders, including familial migraine, ataxia, epilepsy, and hereditary stroke. A fellow of the Queensland Academy of Arts and Science, Professor Griffiths has also established several significant international collaborations with the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, Oxford University, University of Vienna, the Italian National Research Council, the MS ANZgene Consortium, and the International Migraine Genetics Consortium.

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Migraine & Headache Australia is the only organization in Australia that has supported the more than 5 million Australians affected by headache and migraine for 20 years. Migraine & Headache Australia is a division of the Brain Foundation.

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