Post traumatic stress disorder (TEPT) and migraine, which often coexist, appear to share a common genetic basis, according to a study in
«Frontiers in Neuroscience».
When studying the identical twins, where one twin in each couple has PTSD or migraines and the other twin does not, the researchers found common genes that may play a role in both conditions. These genes can help explain why conditions coexist and they could reveal new treatment targets for both diseases.
Post-traumatic stress is a psychiatric disorder that usually occurs after a traumatic experience. Many people will experience a traumatic event at some point in their lives, but the vast majority will not develop PTSD, so there is something special in those who suffer from it.
And this is where the study of identical twins can reveal risk factors. epigenéticos.
People con post-traumatic stress they are also more prone to experiencing migraines, which suggests that there are common risk factors in these two pathologies.
However, the synergy between post-traumatic stress and migraines is unknown, as no studies have examined this link before.
This new study suggests that our genes may have the answer and, specifically, the changes epigenéticos.
Epigenetics is defined as the influence of our environment on how our genes are expressed and generally involves biochemical modifications of DNA.
Identical twins have exactly the same same genes, but the different experiences as they grow they can result in different epigenetic changes. This may mean that some genes are more or less likely to be expressed in each twin.
The researchers used twin research to find out which genes show altered activity under stress post-traumatic disease and migraine and whether these pathologies shared common changes.
The study analyzed six pairs of twins who volunteered for the study, where both twins had experienced traumatic events, but only one in each couple PTSD.
Given the low probability that all these conditions are met, the sample size could never be large.
But because the identical twins share all their ADN, but not all of its epigenetic marks, the study results are consistent.
The researchers also enrolled 15 pairs of cufflinks in which one in each couple experiences migraines. Thus, they took blood samples from the twins and analyzed them to detect epigenetic changes associated with post-traumatic stress or migraine.
Interestingly, the study revealed that certain genes are similarly affected in post-traumatic stress disorder and migraine headaches, suggesting that they may share some risk factors.
“Our results suggest that common genes and signaling pathways are involved in post-traumatic stress and migraine and this could explain why post-traumatic stress and migraine can often coexist,” explains the professor. Divya Mehta from
Queensland University of Technology (Australia
«This could also imply that factors of Common environmental risks for both PTSD and migraine they could be acting on these genes. ‘
So what do these findings mean for those living with post-traumatic stress disorder and / or migraines? The genes and epigenetic modifications the researchers identified could form the basis for new treatments. Epigenetic changes offer excellent drug targetas they can often be reversed.
These results may have implications for treatments, since a drug or therapy can only be effective for a single disorder, “says Mehta. «For disorders competing such as post-traumatic stress disorder and migraine, once we know which common genes are involved in both disorders, we can develop new therapies to attack them, thereby reducing the symptoms and curing both».