Video Q & A:

Migraine 101

Question:

Are migraines hereditary?

Expert:   Joshua Cohen, M.D., M.P.H. , St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center »

To put it simply, migraines are definitely hereditary. But not that cut and dry. Watch this to learn more!

Transcript: To put it simply, migraines are definitely hereditary. When a doctor is determining a diagnosis for your head pain, one of the FIRST things he will ask is if you have a FAMILY HISTORY of migraine. If members of your immediate family have had attacks, that means YOU’RE much more liable to have them, too. If ONE parent has migraine headaches, YOU have a 40 to 50 percent chance of having them, and if BOTH parents do, your risk shoots up to 75 percent. Those numbers apply to the common types of migraine, both with and without aura. But, there is also a RARE type of migraine that SPECIFICALLY runs in families. Hemiplegic migraines exist in two variations—sporadic hemiplegic migraine, and FAMILIAL hemiplegic migraine. The FAMILIAL kind can actually be TRACED back through family history and has been linked to mutations on chromosomes 1, 2 and 19. A major symptom of both sporadic and familial hemiplegic migraines is temporary WEAKNESS on one side of the body during a headache. More »

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