Background: A complex relationship between migraine and vascular disease has long been recognized. The pathophysiological basis underlying this correlation is incompletely understood.
Aim: The aim of this review is to focus on the migraine-vascular disorders connection from a genetic perspective, illustrating potentially shared (molecular) mechanisms.
Results: We first summarize the clinical presentation and genetic basis of CADASIL and other monogenic vascular syndromes with migraine as a prominent disease manifestation. Based on data from transgenic mouse models for familial hemiplegic migraine, we then discuss cortical spreading depression as a potential mechanistic link between migraine and ischemic stroke. Finally, we review data from genome-wide association studies, with a focus on overlapping findings with cervical artery dissection, ischemic stroke in general and cardiovascular disease.
Conclusion: A wealth of data supports a genetic link between migraine and vascular disease. Based on growing high-throughput data-sets, new genotyping techniques and in-depth phenotyping, further insights are expected for the future.
Keywords: CADASIL; cortical spreading depression; genetic susceptibility; genomewide association study; hemiplegic migraine; migraine pathophysiology; mouse model.
© International Headache Society 2015.