Evidence for an X-linked genetic component in familial typical migraine

Dale R. Nyholt, Jennifer L. Dawkins, Peter J. Brimage, Peter J. Goadsby, Garth A. Nicholson, Lyn R. Griffiths*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)


Migraine is a common complex disorder that shows strong familial aggregation. There is a general increased prevalence of migraine in females compared with males, with recent studies indicating that migraine affects 18% of females compared with 6% of males. This preponderance of females among migraine sufferers coupled with evidence of an increased risk of migraine in first degree relatives of male probands but not in relatives of female probands suggests the possibility of an X-linked dominant gene. We report here the localization of a typical migraine susceptibility locus to the X chromosome. Of three large multigenerational migraine pedigrees two families showed significant excess allele sharing to Xq markers (P = 0.031 and P = 0.012). Overall analysis of data from all three pedigrees gave significant evidence in support of linkage and heterogeneity (HLOD = 3.1). These findings provide conclusive evidence that familial typical migraine is a heterogeneous disorder. We suggest that the localization of a migraine susceptibility locus to the X chromosome could in part explain the increased risk of migraine in relatives of male probands and may be involved in the increased female prevalence of this disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-463
Number of pages5
JournalHuman Molecular Genetics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1998
Externally publishedYes


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