June 24, 2011
Model Of A Migraine Indicates Increased Neuronal Excitability As A Possible Cause
Familial hemiplegic migraine is a rare and severe subtype of migraine with aura, an unusual sensory experience preceding the migraine attack. Researchers from the San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Milan, and CNR Institute of Neuroscience in Pisa, Italy, have developed a mouse model of Familial Hemiplegic Migraine type 2 (FHM2) and used it to investigate the migraine's cause. The study will be published on June 23rd in the open-access journal PLoS Genetics.
The researchers developed a knock-in animal model for FHM2 by inserting the W887R mutation of the ATP1A2 gene into the mouse genome. Mutations of this gene have previously been identified in patients as leading to a mutation of the Ã±2 Na,K-ATPase protein with loss of function. As migraine is a complex phenotype, the research focused on a specific endophenotype that is functionally linked to migraine: cortical spreading depression (CSD). CSD is a wave of neuronal and glial depolarisation that progresses slowly across the cortex and frequently causes migraine aura.
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