Jan 30, 2015

Genetic variants associated with motion sickness point to roles for inner ear development, neurological processes and glucose homeostasis

Human Molecular Genetics
Bethann S HromatkaNicholas Eriksson

Abstract

Roughly one in three individuals is highly susceptible to motion sickness and yet the underlying causes of this condition are not well understood. Despite high heritability, no associated genetic factors have been discovered. Here, we conducted the first genome-wide association study on motion sickness in 80 494 individuals from the 23andMe database who were surveyed about car sickness. Thirty-five single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were associated with motion sickness at a genome-wide-significant level (P < 5 × 10(-8)). Many of these SNPs are near genes involved in balance, and eye, ear and cranial development (e.g. PVRL3, TSHZ1, MUTED, HOXB3, HOXD3). Other SNPs may affect motion sickness through nearby genes with roles in the nervous system, glucose homeostasis or hypoxia. We show that several of these SNPs display sex-specific effects, with up to three times stronger effects in women. We searched for comorbid phenotypes with motion sickness, confirming associations with known comorbidities including migraines, postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV), vertigo and morning sickness and observing new associations with altitude sickness and many gastrointestinal conditions. We also show that two of these related phenotypes (...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Genome-Wide Association Study
TSHZ1 protein, human
Glucose Metabolism Disorders
Morning Sickness
Serum Sickness
Genes
Glucose Homeostasis
HOXB3 gene
Entire Nervous System
HOXD3

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