The human μ-opioid receptor gene polymorphism (A118G) is associated with head pain severity in a clinical cohort of female migraine with aura patients
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Migraine is a painful and debilitating, neurovascular disease. Current migraine head pain treatments work with differing efficacies in migraineurs. The opioid system plays an important role in diverse biological functions including analgesia, drug response and pain reduction. The A118G single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in exon 1 of the l-opioid receptor gene (OPRM1) has been associated with elevated pain responses and decreased pain threshold in a variety of populations. The aim of the current preliminary study was to test whether genotypes of the OPRM1 A118G SNP are associated with head pain severity in a clinical cohort of female migraineurs. This was a preliminary study to determine whether genotypes of the OPRM1 A118G SNP are associated with head pain severity in a clinical cohort of female migraineurs. A total of 153 chronic migraine with aura sufferers were assessed for migraine head pain using the Migraine Disability Assessment Score instrument and classified into high and low pain severity groups. DNA was extracted and genotypes obtained for the A118G SNP. Logistic regression analysis adjusting for age effects showed the A118G SNP of the OPRM1 gene to be significantly associated with migraine pain severity in the test population (P = 0.0037). In particular, G118 allele carriers were more likely to be high pain sufferers compared to homozygous carriers of the A118 allele (OR = 3.125, 95 % CI = 1.41, 6.93, P = 0.0037). These findings suggest that A118G genotypes of the OPRM1 gene may influence migraineassociated head pain in females. Further investigations are required to fully understand the effect of this gene variant on migraine head pain including studies in males and in different migraine subtypes, as well as in response to head pain medication.
Journal of Headache and Pain
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