Phenome-wide analysis highlights putative causal relationships between self-reported migraine and other complex traits

SWAlexander

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Abstract
Background
Migraine is a complex neurological disorder that is considered the most common disabling brain disorder affecting 14 % of people worldwide. The present study sought to infer potential causal relationships between self-reported migraine and other complex traits, using genetic data and a hypothesis-free approach.

Methods
We leveraged available summary statistics from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of 1,504 phenotypes and self-reported migraine and inferred pair-wise causal relationships using the latent causal variable (LCV) method.

Results
We identify 18 potential causal relationships between self-reported migraine and other complex traits. Hypertension and blood clot formations were causally associated with an increased migraine risk, possibly through vasoconstriction and platelet clumping. We observed that sources of abdominal pain and discomfort might influence a higher risk for migraine. Moreover, occupational and environmental factors such as working with paints, thinner or glues, and being exposed to diesel exhaust were causally associated with higher migraine risk. Psychiatric-related phenotypes, including stressful life events, increased migraine risk. In contrast, ever feeling unenthusiastic / disinterested for a whole week, a phenotype related to the psychological well-being of individuals, was a potential outcome of migraine.

Conclusions
Overall, our results suggest a potential vascular component to migraine, highlighting the role of vasoconstriction and platelet clumping. Stressful life events and occupational variables potentially influence a higher migraine risk. Additionally, a migraine could impact the psychological well-being of individuals. Our findings provide novel testable hypotheses for future studies that may inform the design of new interventions to prevent or reduce migraine risk and recurrence.
https://thejournalofheadacheandpain.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s10194-021-01284-w

Introduction
Migraine is a complex neurological disorder characterised by intense, debilitating headaches on one side of the head, and it is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, numbness, and sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine is the most common disabling brain disorder, affecting 14 % of the population