Genetic bases of comorbidity between mood disorders and migraine: possible role of serotonin transporter gene

Neurol Sci. 2010 Jun;31(3):387-91. doi: 10.1007/s10072-009-0183-y. Epub 2009 Nov 21.


Migraine is a common neurological disease in the population and the most associated headache with mood disorder. Although the relationship between migraine and depression is well known, the reverse correlation between depression and migraine was observed but not well understood. The tight relationship between the two disturbances is also suggested by the efficacy of antidepressants for migraine treatment. Starting from these observations, we can presume that both migraine and depression have overlapping biological bases. The main target of antidepressant treatments belonging to the serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) type is the serotonin transporter (SERT); a well-studied polymorphic variant, in the promoter region of the gene (SERTPR), has been demonstrated to influence the availability of serotonin in the synaptic cleft. So, our group studied the possible role of the SERT as a risk factor, both for migraine and mood disorders, in a sample of 96 patients affected by both pathologies.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Bipolar Disorder / epidemiology
  • Bipolar Disorder / genetics
  • Comorbidity
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / genetics
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • INDEL Mutation
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Migraine Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Migraine Disorders / genetics*
  • Migraine with Aura / epidemiology
  • Migraine with Aura / genetics
  • Migraine without Aura / epidemiology
  • Migraine without Aura / genetics
  • Mood Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Mood Disorders / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Risk Factors
  • Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins / genetics*
  • Young Adult


  • SLC6A4 protein, human
  • Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins