Stress due to financial hardship could up migraine risk: study

05 September 2017

Stress due to financial hardship could up the risk of developing migraine in people with a particular gene variant, according to a study. Migraine, a serious and debilitating neurological disease is estimated to affect a billion people worldwide.

The findings showed that the genetics of circadian rhythms affect migraine and people with the CLOCK gene variant suffer more migraines under financial stress.

The CLOCK gene plays an important role in regulating many rhythmic patterns of the body, including body temperature or level of cortisol - the primary stress hormone.

Though the study did not reveal a significant direct relationship between the gene and migraine, when financial stress was factored in the researchers found that the investigated gene variants upped the odds of having migraine type headaches in subjects who were financially distressed, by around 20 per cent.

''The study does not show what causes migraine but it does show that both stress and genetics have an effect. We were able to show that stress - represented by financial hardship - led to an increase in migraine in those who have a particular gene variant,'' said Daniel Baksa from the Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary, IANS reported.

The researchers from Hungary and UK presented their study at the 30th ECNP Congress in Paris.

The researchers checked 999 patients from Budapest and 1,350 from Manchester, for two variants (single nucleotide polymorphisms, SNPs) of the CLOCK gene, and how these are associated with migraine.

People who suffer the condition may find relief in a set of home remedies according to experts.

According to the American Academy of Neurology, herbs like butterbur and feverfew have properties that not only help in the treatment of migraine but may also be able to prevent the condition, NDTV reported in a report with IANS inputs.

Caffeine is known to ease migraine pains in the initial stages, and most painkillers prescribed for the condition contain caffeine.

It should be borne in mind though,  that caffeine taken in large quantities can cause withdrawal attacks in later stages and must therefore be taken in moderation not in excess of 400mg a day from various sources and not just through one's regular cuppa.

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