Genomewide significant linkage to migrainous headache on chromosome 5q21

Dale R. Nyholt, Katherine I. Morley, Manuel A.R. Ferreira, Sarah E. Medland, Dorret I. Boomsma, Andrew C. Heath, Kathleen R. Merikangas, Grant W. Montgomery, Nicholas G. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Familial typical migraine is a common, complex disorder that shows strong familial aggregation. Using latent-class analysis (LCA), we identified subgroups of people with migraine/severe headache in a community sample of 12,245 Australian twins (60% female), drawn from two cohorts of individuals aged 23-90 years who completed an interview based on International Headache Society criteria. We report results from genomewide linkage analyses involving 756 twin families containing a total of 790 independent sib pairs (130 affected concordant, 324 discordant, and 336 unaffected concordant for LCA-derived migraine). Quantitative-trait linkage analysis produced evidence of significant linkage on chromosome 5q21 and suggestive linkage on chromosomes 8, 10, and 13. In addition, we replicated previously reported typical-migraine susceptibility loci on chromosomes 6p12.2-p21.1 and 1q21-q23, the latter being within 3 cM of the rare autosomal dominant familial hemiplegic migraine gene (ATP1A2), a finding which potentially implicates ATP1A2 in familial typical migraine for the first time. Linkage analyses of individual migraine symptoms for our six most interesting chromosomes provide tantalizing hints of the phenotypic and genetic complexity of migraine. Specifically, the chromosome 1 locus is most associated with phonophobia; the chromosome 5 peak is predominantly associated with pulsating headache; the chromosome 6 locus is associated with activity-prohibiting headache and photophobia; the chromosome 8 locus is associated with nausea/vomiting and moderate/severe headache; the chromosome 10 peak is most associated with phonophobia and photophobia; and the chromosome 13 peak is completely due to association with photophobia. These results will prove to be invaluable in the design and analysis of future linkage and linkage disequilibrium studies of migraine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)500-512
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican journal of human genetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2005


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