Do you often stress over your financial burdens? Well, a new study suggests that these stress levels can increase the risk of developing migraine in people with a particular gene known as the CLOCK.
Migrane is severe neurological condition that causes throbbing headache often accompanied by sensitivity to light, sound, or smells. And the CLOCK gene that is associated with the sleep-wake cycle - also known as the circadian rhythm - make chronic stress-triggered migraines more common.
"The study does not show what causes migraine but it does show that both stress and genetics have an effect. We were able to show that stress — represented by financial hardship — led to an increase in migraine in those who have a particular gene variant", said Daniel Baksa from the Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary.
The study which was presented at the 30th ECNP Congress in Paris checked about 2349 patients, for two variants of the CLOCK gene and measured their association with the condition.
Though the findings suggest that there was no significant direct connection between the gene and migraine, but when they factored in stress (financial stress, measured by a financial questionnaire), they noted that the investigated gene variants increased the odds of having migraine type headaches in those subjects who suffered from financial hardship by around 20 per cent.
"Our results shed light on one specific mechanism that may contribute to migraine. What it does mean is that for many people, the stress caused by financial worries can physically affect you", Baksa said.
"What we need to do now is to see if other circadian gene variants in association with different stress factors cause the same effect.", he added.
(With inputs from PTI)