According to the World Health Organization (WHO), between 15 and 18% of the global population suffers from migraines, with severe or chronic cases being suffered by 4 out of every 100 people worldwide. This neurological disorder greatly hampers the daily lives of sufferers, who are often unable to carry out any kind of activity during the acute phase of the pain.
In addition to being a highly underestimated public health problem (according to the WHO, despite its lack of recognition, migraine is the sixth most disabling disease), suboptimal attention to these problems also causes a high financial cost to society due to the absenteeism from work that they cause, since the symptoms are more severe during people’s productive years.
Adequate treatment of these disorders is based on three points:
- The training of health professionals to establish accurate diagnoses.
- Adequate treatment with effective migraine drugs. There is a great mistrust towards pharmacological treatments to treat or prevent migraines because, in a large proportion, they do not produce relief of the symptoms and, nevertheless, they can cause side effects.
- Lifestyle changes and patient education.
Recently, this problem is being addressed more comprehensively by medical and scientific professionals.
Can migraines be genetic?
Aware that there is still a lot of work ahead, at tellmeGen we have developed a pioneering observational study in Spain with our users suffering from migraines and other types of headaches to try to find genetic markers that can help select the appropriate drugs for each person and thus reduce therapeutic failures.
This is the basis of pharmacogenetics, a scientific discipline that, in recent years, is becoming a reality.
“Thanks to the study, we are observing that many patients do not improve their symptoms because they are taking a pharmacological treatment that is not appropriate from the point of view of their genetics. However, when you study the genes involved in therapeutic success, you can prescribe in a personalized, efficient and safe way. This is what we are observing systematically and we hope that this study will serve as a basis for other more exhaustive studies” remarked Dr. Silvia Tamborero and Celia Martínez, who are responsible for the study.
The aim of this study is to become the first company to offer a pharmacogenetic panel through which the best treatment can be prescribed for each case.
“Pharmacogenetics is the tool that will help us to be more precise and efficient, and from the company we are very committed to these disabling neurological disorders” says Dr. Ana Romero, head of the Genetics Department at tellmeGen.
Learn more about the role of genetics in migraine drugs:
With tellmeGen’s genetic test you can learn about many characteristics that make you unique, including how you feel about the medications associated with migraines and the implications they may have on your health.