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All in the family: A genetic link between epilepsy and migraine
Date:1/6/2013

s with epilepsy who had three or more additional close relatives with a seizure disorder were more than twice as likely to experience MA than patients from families with fewer individuals with seizures. In other words, the stronger the genetic effect on epilepsy in the family, the higher the rates of MA. This result provides evidence that a gene or genes exist that cause both epilepsy and migraine.

Identification of genetic contributions to the comorbidity of epilepsy with other disorders, like migraine, has implications for epilepsy patients. Prior research has shown that coexisting conditions impact the quality of life, treatment success, and mortality of epilepsy patients, with some experts suggesting that these comorbidities may have a greater impact on patients than the seizures themselves. In fact, comorbid conditions are emphasized in the National Institutes of Health Epilepsy Research Benchmarks and in a recent report on epilepsy from the Institute of Medicine.

"Our study demonstrates a strong genetic basis for migraine and epilepsy, because the rate of migraine is increased only in people who have close (rather than distant) relatives with epilepsy and only when three or more family members are affected," concludes Dr. Winawer. "Further investigation of the genetics of groups of comorbid disorders and epilepsy will help to improve the diagnosis and treatment of these comorbidities, and enhance the quality of life for those with epilepsy."


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Contact: Dawn Peters
sciencenewsroom@wiley.com
781-388-8408
Wiley
Source:Eurekalert

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