A new study has linked a gene on chromosome 8 to persistent migraine headaches and suggests that having that particular variation of a gene could actually raise the risk of getting the disease.

The study is among the first to identify a genetic variant associated with the common types of migraines, including those with and without aura, the notes the study conducted at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in England.

Senior study author Aarno Palotie of the International Headache Genetics Consortium believes that this genetic variation was found mostly in migraine with aura and it may require additional research to ascertain how widely it may hold good for other migraine types.

As part of the study, published in the medical journal Nature Genetics, researchers analyzed a genome-wide association on about 6,000 people diagnosed with migraine headaches and about 50,000 people without migraines. They found that people with migraine were more likely to have the genetic variant on chromosome 8 between MTDH and PGCP genes.

The gene variant, known to be one of two genes involved with regulating neutrasmitter glutamate, was present in as many as 26 percent of the migraine sufferers. However, about 20 percent of those who did not suffer from migraine also had it.

This makes us believe that since migraine is a complex condition and could involve many other genes and variants. Therefore, we need to ascertain the presence of more genes that predispose us to migraines, says Palotie.

While researchers have in the past described genetic mutations as the major cause of some rare migraine forms, this is probably the first study that links risk factors to common migraine types.

It is estimated that more than 10 to 15 percent of all sufferers of migraine have it with aura, which is known to create visual disturbances before the actual occurrence of the headache.