A big thank you to all those who participated in the menstrual migraine genetics study before I left the City of London Migraine Clinic. My previous research has shown that menstrual migraine can be linked to the natural drop in oestrogen around the time of menstruation. That led us to think that genes involved in hormonal pathways might be responsible for some women being susceptible to menstrual migraine.
In collaboration with Professor Lyn Griffiths and co-workers at the Genomics Research Centre, Griffith University, Australia, my colleague Alison Frith and I collected saliva and blood samples from women with menstrual migraine and compared the genes extracted from these samples with genes extracted from samples from women who had never had migraine.
Our results show that there are differences between women with menstrual migraine and non-migraineurs in the way that certain genes function, and that these differences may be responsible for triggering menstrual attacks. With further research, it might be possible to develop objective ways of testing for these genes as a diagnostic tool as well as developing more effective treatments, targeted to these specific genes.
We will be submitting these findings for publication and are very grateful to all the women who took the time to participate in this important research, which will help to improve the lives of countless women suffering with menstrual migraine.