ADAPTING TO THE COLD GAVE US THE MIGRAINES
Migraine is a debilitating neurological disorder that affects millions worldwide. The percentage of people who suffer from the disorder varies across human populations, but is highest in individuals of European descent, which is also the population with the highest frequency of the cold-adaptive variant, the study said. The indings suggest that adaptation to cold temperatures in early human populations may have contributed, to some extent, to the variation in migraine prevalence that exists among human groups today. “This study nicely shows how past evolutionary pressures can inluence present-day phenotypes,”
said study co-author Felix Key of Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany. Within the last 50,000 years, some humans left the warm climate of Africa to colonise colder locales in Asia, Europe, and other parts of the world. “This colonisation could have been accompanied by genetic adaptations that helped early humans respond to cold temperatures,” said Aida Andres, also from Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. Currently, the percentage of people in a population that carry the variant increases at higher latitudes and with colder climates, the study said.