Molecular Mechanisms of Migraine: Prospects for Pharmacogenomics
Migraine is a common complex disorder that affects a large portion of the population and thus incurs a substantial economic burden on society. The disorder is characterized by recurrent headaches that are unilateral and usually accompanied by nausea, vomiting, photophobia, and phonophobia. The range of clinical characteristics is broad and there is evidence of comorbidity with other neurological diseases, complicating both the diagnosis and management of the disorder. Although the class of drugs known as the triptans (serotonin 5-HT1B/1D agonists) has been shown to be effective in treating a significant number of patients with migraine, treatment may in the future be further enhanced by identifying drugs that selectively target molecular mechanisms causing susceptibility to the disease. Genetically, migraine is a complex familial disorder in which the severity and susceptibility of individuals is most likely governed by several genes that may be different among families. Identification of the genomic variants involved in genetic predisposition to migraine should facilitate the development of more effective diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Genetic profiling, combined with our knowledge of therapeutic response to drugs, should enable the development of specific, individually-tailored treatment.
American Journal of Pharmacogenomics