Navigation Links
Researchers make headway in mystery of migraines

Scientists at the MUHC have made progress in understanding what causes migraines. The research, published in the new issue of the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), reveals how gene mutations known to cause a form of inherited migraine--the kind that cause debilitating headaches and light flashes known as auras--target a cellular process involved in brain cell communication.

"A number of mutations have been shown to result in familial migraines," says Dr. Rhoda Blostein--a medical scientist at the Research Institute of the MUHC, professor in the Department of Medicine and Biochemistry at McGill University, and author of the new study. "Discovering genetic mutations that cause disease is important, but in order to develop treatments we must understand what these mutations do." By engineering several genetic mutations known to cause inherited migraines (type 2), and incorporating them into human cells, Dr. Blostein and her team showed several genotypes damage the operation of a tiny cellular mechanism commonly known as the Sodium Pump (Sodium/Potassium ATPase enzyme).

"Much of what happens in your brain--from memory to basic movement--is the result of the transmission of electrical impulses along nerve cells," says Dr. Blostein. "This is a basic process by which our brain cells communicate." By expelling sodium from the cell, and drawing potassium from outside, the sodium pump maintains a gradient of potassium, which is critical for the propagation of electrical signals along nerve cells. Like an air conditioner in the heat of summer, the sodium pump is a massive energy hog, consuming around 30% of the energy produced by the cell in order to perform this vital cellular process.

Of particular interest in this study is that some mutations cause migraines by reducing sodium pump efficiency--akin to reducing the power supply. "This is the first time that a genetic mutation of the sodium pump has been shown to cause disease by changi ng the properties of this biochemical process, rather than completely turning it off," notes Dr. Blostein. This new understanding of how genetic mutations cause migraines takes us one step closer to the development of improved treatments, providing hope to millions of migraine sufferers.


'"/>

Source:McGill University


Related biology news :

1. Researchers discover way to make cells in the eye sensitive to light
2. Researchers find how protein allows insects to detect and respond to pheromones
3. Researchers Uncover Key Step In Manufacture of Memory Protein
4. Researchers reveal the infectious impact of salmon farms on wild salmon
5. Researchers identify target for cancer drugs
6. Researchers discover molecule that causes secondary stroke
7. Researchers find missing genes of ancient organism
8. Researchers trace evolution to relatively simple genetic changes
9. Researchers add new tool to tumor-treatment arsenal
10. UF Researchers Map Bacterial Proteins That Cause Tooth Loss
11. VCU Researchers Identify Networks Of Genes Responding To Alcohol In The Brain
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/6/2017)... RAM Group , Singaporean based ... in biometric authentication based on a novel  ... to perform biometric authentication. These new sensors are based on ... Ram Group and its partners. This sensor will have ... and security. Ram Group is a next generation ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... April 13, 2017 UBM,s Advanced Design and ... will feature emerging and evolving technology through its 3D ... will run alongside the expo portion of the event ... and demonstrations focused on trending topics within 3D printing ... and manufacturing event will take place June 13-15, 2017 at ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... April 11, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... company, announces the appointment of independent Directors Mr. Robin ... its Board of Directors, furthering the company,s corporate governance and ... Gino Pereira ... look forward to their guidance and benefiting from their considerable ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... Kapstone Medical is proud to ... helping medical technology companies and inventors develop and safeguard their latest innovations. The ... firm with a portfolio of clients in the United States and around the world. ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... , ... August 15, 2017 , ... Any expert in ... has compromised these disciplines for more than half a century. Despite their essential ... It is widely known that molecular tags developed for this purpose also tag ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... 15, 2017 , ... Coffea arabica accounts for 70 percent ... During this educational webinar, participants will learn about the importance of genomics for ... understanding of how genomics is important for coffee breeding improvement. , Attendees will ...
(Date:8/14/2017)... ... 14, 2017 , ... Opal Kelly, a leading producer of ... announced the release of SYZYGY™, a new open standard for connecting high-performance peripherals ... compact, low cost, low pin-count, high-performance connectivity solution between FPGAs and single-purpose hardware ...
Breaking Biology Technology: