A Polymorphism in the Interleukin-1α Gene Influences the Clinical Features of Migraine


Address all correspondence to Dr. Innocenzo Rainero, Neurology III, Headache Center, Department of Neuroscience, University of Turin, Via Cherasco 15, 10126 Torino, Italy.


Objective.—To evaluate whether a particular genotype of the interleukin-1α (IL1A) gene affects the clinical features of migraine.

Background.—Proinflammatory mediators have been reported to play a role in the pathophysiology of migraine. Recent studies suggest that polymorphisms in the interleukin-1 genes influence the age at onset and subsequent course of several chronic inflammatory diseases.

Methods.—In a group of 269 patients with migraine, we tested the association of the −889 C/T biallelic polymorphism of the IL1A gene with several clinical features of the disease.

Results.—Patients with migraine carrying the T/T genotype show an age at onset of the disease that is significantly (P < .01) lower than IL1A C/C or C/T carriers. In addition, the same genotype was significantly (P < .05) more frequent in patients with migraine with aura than in patients with migraine without aura.

Conclusions.—The results of our study suggest a role for the IL1A gene in modifying the clinical features of migraine.