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J Headache Pain. 2011 Apr;12(2):193-9. doi: 10.1007/s10194-011-0314-8. Epub 2011 Feb 23.

Evidence for an association between migraine and the hypocretin receptor 1 gene.

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Neurology II, Department of Neuroscience, University of Torino, Via Cherasco 15, 10126 Turin, Italy.


The aim of our study was to investigate whether genetic variants in the hypocretin receptor 1 (HCRTR1) gene could modify the occurrence and the clinical features of migraine. Using a case-control strategy we genotyped 384 migraine patients and 259 controls for three SNPs in the HCRTR1 gene. Genotypic and allelic frequencies of the rs2271933 non-synonymous polymorphism resulted different (χ(2)=9.872, p=0.007; χ(2)=8.108, p=0.004) between migraineurs and controls. The carriage of the A allele was associated with an increased migraine risk (OR 1.42, 95% CI 1.11-1.81). When we divided the migraine patients into different subgroups, the difference reached the level of statistical significance only in migraine without aura. The different genotypes had no significant effect on the examined clinical characteristics of the disease. In conclusion, our data supports the hypothesis that the HCRTR1 gene could represent a genetic susceptibility factor for migraine without aura and suggests that the hypocretin system may have a role in the pathophysiology of migraine.

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