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New direction for migraine prevention

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No idea whether this might also somehow be applicable to CH, but some big guys (Goadsby, for one) apparently think it has great promise for migraines (which some people here also experience).

May 5, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS -- May 5, 2014 -- Monoclonal antibodies show promise for the prevention of migraines, according to 2 studies presented at the 66th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN).

Both drugs are directed against a relatively new target in migraine prevention -- calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP).

One study involved 163 people who had migraine from 5 to 14 days per month. They received either a single IV dose of a drug called ALD403 or placebo, and were followed for 24 weeks. Those who received the drug had an average of 5.6 fewer migraine days per month -- a 66% decrease compared with 4.6 fewer days per month for those who received a placebo (52% decrease). Sixteen percent of those who received the drug had no migraine days at 12 weeks, while none of those who received the placebo were free from migraine at that point.

There were no differences in side effects between those receiving the drug and those receiving the placebo.

“These results may potentially represent a new era in preventive therapy for migraine,” said Peter Goadsby, MD, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, California, who is an author on both studies.

In the other study, 217 people who had migraine 4 to 14 days per month received biweekly subcutaneous injections of either a placebo or a drug called LY2951742 for 12 weeks.

Those who received the drug had an average of 4.2 fewer migraine days per month at 12 weeks (63% decrease), while those who received placebo had 3 fewer migraine days per month (42% decrease).

Those who received the drug were more likely to have side effects including pain at the injection site, upper respiratory tract infections, and abdominal pain, but overall the drug was considered to be safe and well-tolerated.

“Migraine remains poorly treated, and there are few effective and well tolerated treatments approved that prevent attacks from occurring,” said David Dodick, MD, Mayo Clinic, Phoenix, Arizona, who was also an author on both studies. “There is a huge treatment need for migraine. We’re cautiously optimistic that a new era of mechanism-based migraine prevention is beginning.”


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Well, there are certainly a couple really good statements in there... 'Migraine remains poorly treated,...' and 'There is a huge treatment need for migraine.'

I'm glad they are looking at new approaches, and I hope it proves effective. I always find the placebo affect of these studies interesting, because it shows how much our thinking affects our physical health.

On a side note, in 2010 I had 42 migraines. I busted that December, and in 2011 I had 3. A 93% reduction in migraines.


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  • 2 weeks later...

I know CGRP antagonists: they were removed from the market after some initial researches that showed much promise, as they caused various forms of fatal/chronical hepatitis and cirrhosis.

These drugs are monoclonal antibodies, so they're biological drugs, they may be safe (or not), but as much as the news are insteresting (for migraineurs, not for CHers anyways), keep in mind that:

1- Biological drugs cost 1000-2000€ per vial, so unless you live in a nation where government pays for your cures... well you got to be very very rich.

2- This kind of research may require up to 10 years to be actualized.

3- I don't see a difference of 20% in effectiveness compared to placebo to be significant. We're talking about migraines, having 16 attacks per month instead of 20 doesn't look like this is a "cure".

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