New study finds linkage between progesterone receptor and MV

Hi All

Just wanted to share the abstract of a new article that has just come out from a team of neurotologists/geneticists who are trying to find the cause of migraine-associated vertigo (MAV).

They have found some association between MAV and an error (SNP - single nucleotide polymorphism) in the DNA that makes up the progesterone receptor. The intro is basically discussing how MAV is much more common in women and hence why they chose progesterone and estrogen receptors for this study. Also we know that the birth control pill (which affects these receptors) can often make MAV worse, or better. This is also why females with MAV often feel worse or better in regards to dizziness and headaches during the part of their cycle where the hormones go mad.

The exciting thing is once they find all, or many, of the genetic errors that cause MAV there will a) be a simple way to diagnose it definitively and b) allow them to understand why that genetic error results in the symptoms of MAV and how they can develop medications that target the dysfunction caused by the error. It is also important to remember that just because a defect is carried in the genes, does not mean you necessarily have family members that also must be affected. Often they are, but when they are not, it may have come about because of an interaction between the gene and the environment (susceptibility is there, but one family member may develop it, but not another). Also there are spontaneous gene mutations that are not passed down, but just occur out of the blue (these are called de novo mutations).

While migraine has been demonstrated to be familial and have genetic contributions, genome-wide linkage analyses and candidate gene studies have highlighted that migraine is genetically complex. Despite substantial efforts, no consistent replication of linkage or association has been reported for common migraine syndromes. Among the candidate genes tested for association with migraine by several groups were female sex hormone genes based on the observation of a much higher incidence of migraine in females. Migraine-associated vertigo (MAV) is a migraine syndrome also much more common in females than males. Because MAV is less common in the general population than migraine or migraine with aura, it may be a better migraine syndrome to detect susceptibility alleles. In this study, we tested the association of two female hormonal genes, progesterone receptor (PGR) and estrogen receptor (ESR1), which were previously reported to be associated with migraine in women. We typed 150 MAV subjects and 145 genomic matched control subjects. One SNP (rs1042838) within PGR, which is in high linkage disequilibrium with the functional PROGINS variant, was significantly associated with MAV (p = 0.0007). Two SNPs (rs2228480 and rs1801132) within ESR1 demonstrated no significant association. No synergistic effect between ESR1 variants and PGR variants was identified.

Thanks for posting the abstract – do you have the full citation for the journal article?

Thanks! Allison

I cant believe I forgot to post the link to the full article!!

Thanks for bumping this up… here it is: … MAV.07.pdf

That’s great Adam, i have an apiontment t have hormonal check on friday . i’ll take this article with me,

I often have wondered, just as many, the role of hormones such as progesterone and estrogen in migraine and it’s related symptoms. When I am pregnant I do not have any migraine headaches, auras, vertigo, etc. And my progesterone levels are always low, usually less than half the amount they expect in the early part of pregnancy before the placenta takes over. Although I have been prescribed progesterone replacement while pregnant, I’ve never taken it and that’s controversial but that’s another story and not for this board.

But reading this study does make me a bit more prone to believe that in my case, my migraines are from flucuations in or low count of hormones.


Hi Adam, it’s jen , if I see an article like this one ,that could help the mddsers could I send it on to them?
I know Its alot to ask. I’ll tell them where I 've got it from.