We investigated the mode of inheritance of cluster headache in 370 families. The probands were from a neurological clinic in Jutland and two departments of neurology in Copenhagen County, Denmark. The criteria of the International Headache Society were used. The patterns of segregation of cluster headache were assessed by complex segregation analysis performed with the computer program POINTER. Of the 370 probands with cluster headache, 25 had 36 relatives with cluster headache. The segregation analysis suggests that cluster headache has an autosomal dominant gene (p < 0.10) with a penetrance of 0.30-0.34 in males and 0.17-0.21 in females. The gene is present in 3 to 4% of males and 7 to 10% of females with cluster headache. An autosomal dominant gene has a role in cluster headache in some families.
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