Proefschrift Anine Stam

Genetics of Migraine and Related Syndromes

In this dissertation clinical genetic investigations on migraine, related syndromes and comorbid conditions are described. The first migraine syndrome studied is Familial Hemiplegic Migraine (FHM), a monogenic migraine variant.

The clinical spectrum of FHM1-3 and the relation with closely related diseases such as Alternating hemiplegia of Chilhood, Early Seizures and Cerebral Edema after Trivial Head Trauma, epilepsy and episodic ataxia were investigated. The second monogenic migraine syndrome studied is Retinal Vasculopathy with Cerebral Leukodystrophy, where common migraine is part of the clinical spectrum. The identification of TREX1 as the causal gene for RVCL is described. Investigation of the clinical spectrum showed retinal, cerebral and internal organ involvement, without an apparent genotype-phenotype correlation.

Endothelial dysfunction of large arteries was shown in RVCL patients and is proposed as a possible disease mechanism. Lastly, migraine patients were identified in a Dutch genetic isolate and the relation with depression and atherosclerosis was assessed. For depression it was shown that shared genetic factors, at least partly, underlie the comorbidity with migraine, in particular migraine with aura. These studies improve our insight in genetic factors and pathofysiological mechanisms involved in migraine, which may ultimately contribute to better treatment options for migraine patients.


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