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Genetic link to migraines discovered at BYU

PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 News) – A Brigham Young professor has suffered from migraines her whole life and knows how debilitating they can be. Now she’s dedicated her life to finding answers. Recently, with a team of scientists, Dr. Bates has made a discovery: a genetic link to migraines.
PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 News) – A Brigham Young professor has suffered from migraines her whole life and knows how debilitating they can be.

“I had no control over when one of these would interfere with my life,” said Dr. Emily Bates. “I saw doctors, neurologists and they couldn’t explain what I was going through and they couldn't explain how I could get better,”

Now she’s dedicated her life to finding answers. Recently, with a team of scientists, Dr. Bates has made a discovery: a genetic link to migraines.

The team studied two families with similar genetic mutations that resulted in migraines.  Dr. Bates tested the gene in mice and found it caused migraines in them.

Though not everyone who suffers from migraines has this gene, Dr. Bates said the discovery can be used as a clue to what causes migraines and ultimately how they can be treated.

“When I was getting migraines frequently it was frustrating to me that there wasn't anything better on the market,” she said.  “Potentially it’s a clue to get closer to finding a therapy. We’re not there yet, but we would like to be.”

Dr. Bates’ work was published in this week’s Science Translational Medicine.

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