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New research 884: Hypocretin/orexin in CH (again)

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#1 Wed, 19/11/2014 - 16:07
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New research 884: Hypocretin/orexin in CH (again)

Cephalalgia. 2014 Nov 14. pii: 0333102414557839. [Epub ahead of print]

Cluster headache and the hypocretin receptor 2 reconsidered: A genetic association study and meta-analysis.

Weller CM1, Wilbrink LA2, Houwing-Duistermaat JJ3, Koelewijn SC1, Vijfhuizen LS1, Haan J4, Ferrari MD2, Terwindt GM2, van den Maagdenberg AM5, de Vries B1.

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Cluster headache is a severe neurological disorder with a complex genetic background. A missense single nucleotide polymorphism (rs2653349; p.Ile308Val) in the HCRTR2 gene that encodes the hypocretin receptor 2 is the only genetic factor that is reported to be associated with cluster headache in different studies. However, as there are conflicting results between studies, we re-evaluated its role in cluster headache.


We performed a genetic association analysis for rs2653349 in our large Leiden University Cluster headache Analysis (LUCA) program study population. Systematic selection of the literature yielded three additional studies comprising five study populations, which were included in our meta-analysis. Data were extracted according to predefined criteria.


A total of 575 cluster headache patients from our LUCA study and 874 controls were genotyped for HCRTR2 SNP rs2653349 but no significant association with cluster headache was found (odds ratio 0.91 (95% confidence intervals 0.75-1.10), p = 0.319). In contrast, the meta-analysis that included in total 1167 cluster headache cases and 1618 controls from the six study populations, which were part of four different studies, showed association of the single nucleotide polymorphism with cluster headache (random effect odds ratio 0.69 (95% confidence intervals 0.53-0.90), p = 0.006). The association became weaker, as the odds ratio increased to 0.80, when the meta-analysis was repeated without the initial single South European study with the largest effect size.


Although we did not find evidence for association of rs2653349 in our LUCA study, which is the largest investigated study population thus far, our meta-analysis provides genetic evidence for a role of HCRTR2 in cluster headache. Regardless, we feel that the association should be interpreted with caution as meta-analyses with individual populations that have limited power have diminished validity.


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