The Migraine Research Program's team is particularly interested in understanding which of the various biological effects of current empirically prescribed anti-migraine prophylactic treatments are important in reducing the frequency and severity of migraine attacks. Current migraine treatments have multiple biological actions, many of which drive adverse, often intolerable side effects that limit our ability to successfully employ them for treating people with migraines.
Respectively, the genome and metabolome may provide complimentary data pertaining to heritable and environmentally driven factors important in response to migraine prophylactic treatment. The serum metabolic changes that functionally align with the genomic variants that are most highly associated with migraine treatment response will likely provide clues that are several steps closer to the functional therapeutic impact of the variants. The serum metabolome reflects the consequences of genomic variants after regulatory, translational and post-translational processes have occurred.
The research team is continuing to gather DNA from patients who have quantitatively documented their response or nonresponse to migraine prophylactic treatment. The group plans to employ a partial least squares regression-based network science approach to integrate serum metabolomics, genomics and treatment response patterns to look for the important biological effects in migraine treatment. If successful, the program will use the knowledge to push forward the development of drugs that exert only the relevant anti-migraine effect(s). These would be treatments without other drug actions that drive the side effects that so often render standard treatments unusable. The team would then give the optimized forms of the prophylactic drugs to patients who have biomarkers that predict a successful treatment response.