From height and eye color to certain disease risks, we inherit a lot from our parents. But what about migraines? If you frequently experience these debilitating headaches, you might wonder if you can pass them on to your children, or perhaps you suspect your parents passed them on to you.
So, are migraines hereditary? Let’s find out.
What Are Migraines?
Before we answer whether migraines are hereditary, we need to understand what migraines are. When most people hear the term migraine, they envision a really bad headache. While that’s true, it does not tell the whole story.
Migraines are not just severe headaches; they are a neurological disease characterized by intense, throbbing, pounding, or pulsing pain, usually on one side of the head, accompanied by a variety of unsettling symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, and heightened sensitivity to light and sound.
These additional symptoms further compound the impact of the headache, making it a very disabling condition. It is estimated nearly 40 million US adults struggle with migraines at any given time.
Are Migraines Hereditary?
Research shows that migraines have a genetic component. Studies show that about half of those who suffer from migraines have a family member who also has the condition. This familial connection points towards a genetic link.
But what does science say? According to The Migraine Trust, genetic predisposition accounts for up to 60 percent of the cause of migraine development.
Other research has shown that if both parents have migraines, their children are up to 90 percent likely to develop this debilitating condition as well. Various twin studies have also confirmed the presence of a genetic component in migraine etiology.
The Inheritance Pattern of Migraines
While there is evidence that migraines can be passed down familial lines, the inheritance pattern is not straightforward. Migraines don’t follow a simple “one gene, one disorder” model, like some genetic conditions. Instead, it’s thought that multiple genes interact with each other and with environmental and lifestyle factors to influence migraine risk.
Moreover, having a genetic predisposition for migraines does not guarantee a person will experience them. This is likely because other factors, such as stress, hormonal changes, and dietary choices, are mostly responsible for triggering the onset of symptoms.
Research on Migraine-Related Genes
Genetic research on migraines is ongoing. Scientists have identified several genes associated with an increased risk of developing migraines. These genes are involved in various biological processes, including the regulation of vascular tone and neuronal excitability.
However, these genes only explain a small proportion of migraine cases, indicating that the genetic causes of migraines are complex and involve multiple genes and gene variations – some of which are yet to be uncovered.
To sum up, while migraines don’t follow a straightforward inheritance pattern, they have a significant hereditary component. Genes play an important role in the development of migraines, but so do environmental and lifestyle trigger factors.
Understanding this can empower individuals who may be genetically predisposed to take necessary precautions to reduce the risk of developing migraines.
If you have been struggling with chronic migraines and traditional treatments don’t seem to work, it might be time to consider other treatment avenues. At the Ketamine Wellness Institute, we provide specialized ketamine infusion treatments for chronic migraine patients who have not achieved satisfactory relief with conventional medications.
If you are interested in learning more about ketamine for Migraines treatment in Chapel Hill, NC or Anchorage, AK, contact Ketamine Wellness Institute and request your consultation today.