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Two Spanish companies develop a PCR test that identifies one of the origins of migraine

MADRID, Sept. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Spanish companies Genyca, genetic laboratory of Grupo VIVO Diagnostico, and DR Healthcare, biomedical company specialized in Diamine Oxidase, have developed a  pioneering test using PCR technique that identifies the genetic origin of DAO deficiency and therefore, one of migraine causes. This test analyzes four variants of the AOC1 gene from a saliva sample (oral mucosa).

Different mediators have been postulated about the origin of the neurogenic inflammation caused in this pathology, among them the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and histamine. Histamine is a biogenic amine present in multiple physiological functions in the body and also very abundant in our daily diet. The main degradation pathway of dietary histamine is at intestinal level, and there is where the enzyme Diamine Oxidase (DAO) is located. The deficit of this enzyme's activity leads to the accumulation of plasmatic histamine, with a potential risk of suffering from migraine.

"Various studies have shown a significant difference in plasma histamine concentration and the incidence of DAO deficiency in the population suffering from migraine, the prevalence of which is 87%. This high prevalence of DAO deficiency in patients with migraine positions the activity of this enzyme as a possible biological marker, which opens a new paradigm both in the objective diagnosis of the migraine's origin and in its subsequent treatment using a dietary approach. And also to our PCR project," explains Ana Castillo, head of medical nutrition at DR Healthcare.

This cooperation between Genyca and DR Healthcare began in 2019 in Spain through pharmacy offices and is now expanding its commercialization internationally through large networks of diagnostic laboratories.

"This collaboration was born from our desire to bring genetics to the general population and allow the access to an innovative study that will improve the quality of life of many people," explains the scientific director of Genyca, Teresa Perucho.

Migraine is the most common neurological disorder, affecting in Europe more than 80 million people, according to the European Migraine & Headache Alliance (EMHA). This disease is more common among women; 17% of women while the percentage among men remains at 8%. Migraine presents a significant incidence in young population and, as it is a pain of severe intensity, it has a great impact on work, social and family activities in this group of patients.

15% of the population suffers from migraines and it has now been confirmed that it is one more symptom among those infected with Covid-19. Published studies indicate that SAR COV-2 infection causes a release of cytokines from mast cells, accompanied by a release of endogenous histamine, which could justify the triggering of migraine in people diagnosed with Covid-19 as well as the recommendation to control intake of exogenous histamine.

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Last Updated: 16-Sep-2020