First genetic link to common migraine exposed

First genetic link to common migraine exposed.

This is very exciting information. In this study of more than 50,000 people, researchers have found a genetic variant in people who get migraines. They found that this section of the DNA helps regulate levels of glutamate in the brain, specifically in the synapse. With this defect, too much glutamate builds up and triggers neuronal excitation, leading to migraine.

This discovery will lead to therapies that help regulate glutamate. Glutamate is a salt of glutamic acid, which is an excitatory amino acid. It is found naturally in many foods at varying levels. But it is more concentrated in the food additive called MSG (monosodium glutamate). This explains why so many people who get migraines, have a bad reaction to MSG.

There is a drug that currently helps to block excess glutamate in the brain, called Namenda. It’s main use is for people with Alzheimer’s disease. See the link for a small study showing the efficacy of Namenda for migraines.           

Now, hopefully scientists will question why do so many people have this defect in glutamate metabolism? I believe, as do others, that people are exposed to much higher levels of glutamate, especially in the concentrated form of MSG, and each generation that is barraged with this excessive amount of an amino acid develops a weaker ability to metabolize it.

This connection needs to be understood so that more regulations are put in place to control what chemicals food manufacturers are allowed to put into our food supply. Once again, this evidence supports the fact that man-made artificial chemicals are not handled well by the human body. And therefore we need to be more cognizant of this and regulate what chemicals are added to our foods.

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