Migraine genetics: current findings and future lines of research

A. M. Persico, M. Verdecchia, V. Pinzone, V. Guidetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the last two decades, migraine research has greatly advanced our current knowledge of the genetic contributions and the pathophysiology of this common and debilitating disorder. Nonetheless, this knowledge still needs to grow further and to translate into more effective treatments. To date, several genes involved in syndromic and monogenic forms of migraine have been identified, allowing the generation of animal models which have significantly contributed to current knowledge of the mechanisms underlying these rare forms of migraine. Common forms of migraine are instead posing a greater challenge, as they may most often stem from complex interactions between multiple common genetic variants, with environmental triggers. This paper reviews our current understanding of migraine genetics, moving from syndromic and monogenic forms to oligogenic/polygenic migraines most recently addressed with some success through genome-wide association studies. Methodological issues in study design and future perspectives opened by biomarker research will also be briefly addressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-95
Number of pages19
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Aura
  • Cortical spreading depression
  • Headache
  • Migraine
  • Trigeminovascular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Genetics
  • Medicine(all)


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