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New and sex-specific migraine susceptibility loci identified from a multiethnic genome-wide meta-analysis

Migraine is a common disabling primary headache disorder that is ranked as the most common neurological cause of disability worldwide. Women present with migraine much more frequently than men, but the reasons for this difference are unknown. Migraine heritability is estimated to up to 57%, yet much of the genetic risk remains unaccounted for, especially in non-European ancestry populations. To elucidate the etiology of this common disorder, we conduct a multiethnic genome-wide association meta-analysis of migraine, combining results from the GERA and UK Biobank cohorts, followed by a European-ancestry meta-analysis using public summary statistics. We report 79 loci associated with migraine, of which 45 were novel. Sex-stratified analyses identify three additional novel loci (CPS1, PBRM1, and SLC25A21) specific to women. This large multiethnic migraine study provides important information that may substantially improve our understanding of the etiology of migraine susceptibility.

Authors: Choquet, Hélène; Yin, Jie; Jacobson, Alice S; Horton, Brandon H; Hoffmann, Thomas J; Jorgenson, Eric; Avins, Andrew L; Pressman, Alice R

Commun Biol. 2021 07 22;4(1):864. Epub 2021-07-22.

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