Migraine at 23andMe

23andMe continues its strategy to look for genetic associations of traits that escape most funding for genetic reserach. Latest: migraine:

Two prominent migraine researchers have suggested that the blame for the slow progress in understanding migraine lies with a systemic lack of public funding for migraine research. They argue that the relatively recent, and incomplete, acceptance of migraine by the medical and research communities as a genuine medical problem, as opposed to mere melodrama, has led migraines funding to lag well behind that for diseases of similar impact. For example, they estimate that while $13.80 is spent for each sufferer of asthma, just 36 cents of federal research funds are spent per migraine sufferer. The genetics of migraine are also only partially understood. Thats where our new survey comes in. Our community-based research program 23andWe seeks to empower the public to engage in genetic research from the ground up. We know our efforts cannot substitute for proper federal support of migraine research, but evidence of great public interest, plus a new finding or two, would add to our understanding of the disease and potentially send a message to Washington.

It’s possible that they won’t find anything; or that even finding something won’t help with treatments (although both negative results would be good science). But participating in research like this is potentially a lot more helpful and empowering in the long run than many other things people try, like taking odd OTC supplements.

I wonder which neglected industrial disease will be next…