Familial hemiplegic migraine: a ion channel disorder

Paola Carrera, Stefania Stenirri, Maurizio Ferrari, Stefania Battistini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


At present, little information is available on the genetics of common migraines, most likely to be considered a multifactorial disease. Recently, the CACNA1A gene encoding the brain-specific P/Q type calcium channel α1 subunit, has been cloned and mutations in this gene, located on chromosome 19p13, have been shown to be involved in familial hemiplegic migraine (FHM), a rare autosomal dominantly inherited subtype of migraine with aura. Being part of the migraine spectrum, FHM represents a good model to study the genetics of more common forms of migraine. Different classes of mutations within the CACNA1A gene have been associated with different diseases, thus identifying a new member among 'channelopathies'. Variable clinical expression and genetic heterogeneity of FHM will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-241
Number of pages3
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2001


  • CACNA1A gene
  • Channelopathies
  • Migraine
  • Mutations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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