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Two Spanish companies develop a PCR test that identifies one of the origins of migraine (DAO deficiency)

  •  The innovative test by Genyca and DR Healthcare focuses on the identification of the genetic origin of DAO deficiency
  •  87% of migraine sufferers have DAO deficiency, which triggers an excess of histamine in the blood, increasing the risk of suffering from this vascular headache
  • Migraine is also a symptom of those infected with Covid-19 since SAR COV 2 infection produces a release of endogenous histamine.


Barcelona and Madrid, September 14th 2020.- The Spanish companies Genyca, genetic laboratory of VIVO Diagnostic Group andDR Healthcare, biomedical company specialized in Diamine Oxidase, have developed a pioneering test using PCR technique that identifies the genetic origin of DAO deficiency and therefore, one of migraine causes. This test analyzes four variants of the AOC1 gene from a saliva sample (oral mucosa).


Different mediators have been postulated about the origin of the neurogenic inflammation caused in this pathology, among them the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and histamine. Histamine is a biogenic amine present in multiple physiological functions in the body and also very abundant in our daily diet, since it is present in foods such as milk and dairy products, tomato, spinach, citrus fruits, egg white, among many others. The main degradation pathway of dietary histamine is at intestinal level, and there is where the enzyme Diamine Oxidase (DAO) is located. The deficit of this enzyme’s activity leads to the accumulation of plasmatic histamine, with a potential risk of suffering from migraine.


“Over the last few years, various studies have shown a significant difference in plasma histamine concentration and the incidence of DAO deficiency in the population suffering from migraine, the prevalence of which is 87%. This high prevalence of DAO deficiency in patients with migraine positions the activity of this enzyme as a possible biological marker, which opens a new paradigm both in the objective diagnosis of the migraine’s origin and in its subsequent treatment using a dietary approach. And also to our PCR project”, explains Ana Castillo, head of medical nutrition at DR Healthcare.


This cooperation between Genyca and DR Healthcare began in 2019 in Spain through pharmacy offices and is now expanding its commercialization internationally through large networks of diagnostic laboratories


"This collaboration was born from our desire to bring genetics to the general population through pharmacy offices and allow the access to an innovative study that will improve the quality of life of many people," explains the scientific director of Genyca, Teresa Perucho.


Migraine is the most common neurological disorder, affecting in Europe more than 80 million people, according to the European Migraine & Headache Alliance (EMHA). This disease is more common among women 17% of women while the percentage among men remains at 8%. Migraine presents a significant incidence in young population and, as it is a pain of severe intensity, it has a great impact on work, social and family activities in this group of patients.


15% of the population suffers from migraines and it has now been confirmed that it is one more symptom among those infected with Covid-19. Published studies indicate that SAR COV-2 infection causes a release of cytokines from mast cells, accompanied by a release of endogenous histamine, which could justify the triggering of migraine in people diagnosed with Covid-19 as well as the recommendation to control intake of exogenous histamine.


About Genyca.- https://www.genyca.es/

Genyca is a laboratory specialized in molecular genetics with more than 16 years of experience, leading personalized genetics and precision medicine services throughout Spain and abroad. We apply the most modern technology at the service of healthcare professionals, patients and their families. We analyze from oral mucosa samples, painless for the patient and we provide counselling on the application of genetics as a tool to improve the health and diagnosis of patients.


About DR Healthcare.- https://dr-healthcare.com/

DR Healthcare is a biomedical company specialized in medical nutrition, which dedicates its activity to the research, development, innovation, manufacture and commercialization of DAO active ingredient and nutraceutical products aimed at the dietary management of chronic pathologies and physiological dysfunctions caused by the deficiency of the enzyme Diamine Oxidase (DAO). As a result of its R&D, DR Healthcare has an Industrial Property portfolio with more than 100 patents on the use of the DAO enzyme for the dietary management of migraine, digestive disorders, atopy, ADHD, fibromyalgia and generalized muscle pain.


About Vivo Group.- http://www.vivodiagnostico.com/

Vivo Diagnostico Group is specialized in diagnostic imaging, genetics and telemedicine, with 100% Spanish capital. At Vivo Diagnostico we believe in identifying as soon as possible any indication of the state of health. That is why we have been the leader in diagnostic imaging for more than 25 years. This purpose also brings us to a constant innovation and to provide the best service both through external hospitals and our own centers. More than 200 professionals accompany us in this mission every day. Together, we have already served over two million of satisfied citizens.

For more information about nutraceutical solutions to prevent migraine and/or about the genetic test to detect DAO deficiency, please write to [email protected]

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