Monday - Oct 21, 2019

Promising Developments in the Treatment of Migraine


migraine

Are you one of the 12% of Americans that suffer from migraine headaches?  Read on you will find this information interesting.
The U.S. National Institute of Health report that there are approximately 12% of the American population experiences a throbbing and debilitating headache called migraine. 

Migraine is a neurological and chronic disorder which is characterized by severe headache which is usually felt in one area of the brain.  The pulsating pain is accompanied by other symptoms such as sensitivity to smell, sound and light, nausea, and vomiting.  Some people also experiences an aura which is perceive as a motor, sensory, language, and or visual disturbance which serves as an indicator that migraine will occur at any moment.  

The good news is, scientist were able to develop promising new treatments to ward off migraine attacks. Recently, the American Academy of Neurology announced their discovery of the two potential drugs that can treat and prevent migraine. Dr. Peter Goadsby , professor and co-author of the said papers and affiliated with University of California, San Francisco and Kings College, London, said that these two drugs can help reduce the frequency, severity and number of migraine attacks.

Dr. Goadsby has high hopes for the effectiveness of the drugs.  He stressed that the drugs has a new way of treating migraine in a molecular level. The mechanism of treatment involves blocking a protein known as CGRP or calcitonin gene-related peptide. This protein is the culprit behind the chemical reactions that result to the pulsating effects of migraine.  The great thing about the two drugs is that both can block the receptors for CGRP hence preventing migraine attacks.

Both drugs are known as monoclonal antibodies that are genetically engineered and have been used in the treatment of cancer but are not yet used for treating migraines.  The experimental drugs are still subject for further clinical trials, it is not yet FDA approved so it cannot still be released in the market.

Based from the preliminary clinical trials, two drugs were given by IV or Intra-venous access and the other one by injection. In the first study, the patients showed a 66% reduced occurrence of migraine attacks after five to eight weeks of treatment. They were given a dose of IV drugs known as ALD403. As compared with the placebo group who got a 52% reduced risks of getting migraine. In the second study, those who were given injection also showed a similar result after three months of bi-weekly treatment.

The preliminary testing includes 163 participants who were assigned randomly to receive a dose of the drug while the other is the placebo group. The participants of the study were patients who suffer migraine attacks at a continuous duration of five to fourteen days. After five to eight weeks of treatment, the statistical results of patients receiving the drugs showed a significant reduction for the occurrence of migraine.  This led to the conclusion, that indeed the two drugs offers a promising treatment to help solve the debilitating effects of migraine attacks.

For the second clinical trial, there were 217 patients who were randomly chosen to be given an injection drug called LY295174 or while the other is also assigned as a placebo group. The treatment was given biweekly for a 12-week period. Again, the result shows significant reduction of migraine attacks particularly for patients who were given the drugs, as compared with the placebo group. Patients who were given the drugs showed a 63% decline in migraine attacks as compared with the 42% decline in the placebo patients.

Scientist believed that the discovery of the two potential drugs for migraine offers a new paradigm in treating diseases in a molecular or CGRP level.  The study clearly shows that indeed targeting and blocking CGRP has a potential in preventing the occurrence of diseases.  It is also important to note that the present drugs that are used to treat migraines are also used in treating other health conditions.  These drugs are also used as anti-seizure, anti-depressant and for high blood pressure treatment.  This is the first time in history where a drug is discovered to specifically treat migraine.

The process before this drug can be made available in the market is still a long way to go. It needs a long-term and large-scale studies to determine its effectiveness whether it can treat and cure migraine. Further research studies are required to resolve any doubts and apprehensions regarding the efficacy of the drugs.  Scientists are still researching on how long the effectiveness of the treatment will last and they also want to determine the duration of the medication that will be given to the patients.

Summary

Using preventive medications are crucial for the successful treatment of any disease.  Drugs that can prevent the onset of the disease are a revolution in the field of medicine.  If scientist can continue to find drugs that treat on the molecular level such as these two drugs, diseases can be prevented and cured easily.  The development of these drugs promises a better life for people who are suffering from the ill effects of migraine. For sure, they will become more productive individuals because there is no lingering illness that stops them from being so.