Tired of Migraine pain? Here’s a new set of drugs that show promise to cure

Migraine pain could be exhausting, prevailing for longer days and leaving you with disturbed vision frequently. Migraine Research Foundation defines migraine as not just a headache, but “an extremely debilitating collection of neurological symptoms that usually includes a severe recurring intense throbbing pain one side of the head.”

A new research has shown that a new set of drugs namely Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide (CGRP) monoclonal antibodies are showing high hopes in fighting migraine attacks.



Peter J. Goadsby, Chief of the UCSF Headache Center and one of the world’s leading headache treatment experts and researchers believed the study to be “a transformative moment in migraine treatment.”

He explained that until now migraine sufferers only had triptans – anti-migraine drugs that was developed in 1991, to “treat” migraine attacks, but preventives.

The new development deals with the functioning of the peptide CGRP whose release makes blood vessels to expand and get inflamed – is the basic factor in triggering migraine pains The medication that has already shown positive results in human trials, aims at reducing the levels of CGRP that spikes highly during migraine attacks.

Four pharmaceutical companies – Alder Pharmaceuticals, Amgen, Eli, Lilly and Company, and Teva Pharmaceuticals, are testing versions of anti-CGRP treatments that have shown promise for the future up till now.

Data reported to the American Headache Society showed that in clinical trials, the anti-CGRP drug produced impressive results by causing a significant reduction of the headache hours in more than half patients by 50 percent from one to maximum of 12 weeks.

Dr. Goadsby who is the chair of the scientific program of the American Headache Society’s annual Scientific Meeting said, “The potential of these new compounds is enormous and gives us real hope that effective specific treatments for migraine may be on the near horizon.”

Although Dr. Goadsby termed the development to be a “landmark development,” one should keep in mind that the experiments are just preliminary and further tests are required to finally authenticate its validity.

Symptoms of migraines are constant headache, nausea, vomiting sensation and lethargy but it varies from person to person. Some people may develop aura or perceptual disturbance such as seeing flashing lights or spots. Numbness and dizziness while speaking or walking could also happen. Aura usually lasts for 20 minutes to one hour.

Other symptoms include depression, irritability, sleeplessness, constipation, fatigue, stiff neck muscles and sensitivity to smell or noise. Migraine can be prevented with due medical intervention such as medicines, food intake, lifestyle changes, and surgery.

Migraine surgery may be considered for teens who haven’t gotten relief from other standard treatments, according to a new study by researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland.

The study on 14 teens, aged 16 on an average, showed that “migraine surgery may offer symptomatic improvement of migraine head-ache frequency, duration and severity in patients with identifiable anatomical trigger sites,” wrote the authors.

The surgery is a simple plastic surgery procedure that decompresses a nerve or releases a trigger point that is believed to cause the migraine. The results are considerably fewer headaches afterward, according to the study’s lead author, Dr Bahman Guyuron of Case Western. The new technique may find favour, if more cases come into light.

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