MAOA and TNF-β gene polymorphisms are associated with photophobia but not osmophobia in patients with migraine

Acta Neurol Taiwan. 2014 Jun;23(2):40-8.


Purpose: Photophobia and osmophobia are typical symptoms associated with migraine, but the contributions of gene polymorphisms to these symptoms are not fully elucidated. We investigated whether the gene polymorphisms are involved in photophobia and osmophobia in patients with migraine.

Methods: Ninety-one migraine patients and 119 non-headache healthy volunteers were enrolled. The 12 gene polymorphisms were determined by polymerase-chain-reaction (PCR) and PCR restriction-fragment-length polymorphism analysis.

Results: Photophobia and osmophobia were observed in 49 (54%) and 31 patients (34%), respectively. Distributions of monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) T941G and tumour necrosis factor-β (TNF-β) G252A polymorphisms were significantly different between patients with photophobia and controls. However, no gene polymorphism differences were observed between patients with osmophobia and controls.

Conclusion: The MAOA T941G and TNF-β G252A gene polymorphisms appear to contribute to photophobia but not to osmophobia. We propose that different gene polymorphisms are responsible for photophobia and osmophobia symptoms during migraine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Lymphotoxin-alpha / genetics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / genetics*
  • Monoamine Oxidase / genetics*
  • Olfaction Disorders / genetics*
  • Phobic Disorders / genetics*
  • Photophobia / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*


  • Lymphotoxin-alpha
  • Monoamine Oxidase
  • monoamine oxidase A, human