Genetic Mechanisms of Migraine: Insights from Monogenic Migraine Mutations

Helin Gosalia, Nazia Karsan, Peter J. Goadsby*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Migraine is a disabling neurological disorder burdening patients globally. Through the increasing development of preclinical and clinical experimental migraine models, advancing appreciation of the extended clinical phenotype, and functional neuroimaging studies, we can further our understanding of the neurobiological basis of this highly disabling condition. Despite increasing understanding of the molecular and chemical architecture of migraine mechanisms, many areas require further investigation. Research over the last three decades has suggested that migraine has a strong genetic basis, based on the positive family history in most patients, and this has steered exploration into possibly implicated genes. In recent times, human genome-wide association studies and rodent genetic migraine models have facilitated our understanding, but most migraine seems polygenic, with the monogenic migraine mutations being considerably rarer, so further large-scale studies are required to elucidate fully the genetic underpinnings of migraine and the translation of these to clinical practice. The monogenic migraine mutations cause severe aura phenotypes, amongst other symptoms, and offer valuable insights into the biology of aura and the relationship between migraine and other conditions, such as vascular disease and sleep disorders. This review will provide an outlook of what is known about some monogenic migraine mutations, including familial hemiplegic migraine, familial advanced sleep-phase syndrome, and cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12697
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • aura
  • cortical spreading depression
  • familial hemiplegic migraine
  • genetics
  • monogenic models
  • sporadic hemiplegic migraine


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