Financial stress may up your migraine risk
Washington D.C. [USA], Sep 04 : Beware! You may want to steer clear of financial stress as according to a recent study, it can increase the risk of developing migraine in people with a particular gene.Migraine is a serious and debilitating neurological disease affecting 1 billion people worldwide.
People with a specific variation in the CLOCK gene have more migraines under financial stress.
Researcher Daniel Baksa from Semmelweis University, Budapest in Hungary said that this work does not show what causes migraine -- there is no single cause -- but it does show that both stress and genetics have an effect.
The background of migraine is highly complex involving a large number of genes and their interaction with environmental effects and acting via multiple pathways in the central nervous system.
Variations of circadian genes (which affect how the body controls and responds to environmental changes -- such as changes in light) have previously been shown to affect mood disorders, so it was thought it would be interesting to see if they were associated with migraine.
The team from Hungary and the UK checked 999 patients from Budapest and 1350 from Manchester.
For two variants (single nucleotide polymorphisms, SNPs) of the CLOCK gene and how these are associated with migraine.
The CLOCK gene has an important role in regulating many rhythmic patterns of the body, including body temperature or level of cortisol, the primary stress hormone.
They found that there was no significant direct connection between the gene and migraine, but when they factored in stress (financial stress, measured by a financial questionnaire), they showed that the investigated gene variants increased the odds of having migraine type headaches in those subjects who suffered from financial hardship by around 20 percent.
The research is presented at the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology conference in Paris.