The “Revolution” in Migraine Treatment (Dr. Peter Goadsby)

Last month the American Headache Society had their annual symposium in Arizona, USA. There was a lot of discussion about the new treatments coming down the pipe to fight migraine.

Dr. Peter Goadsby from the University of California did a brief interview which you can see here. But here is a quick summary of some of the things that he said. It’s worth while taking a look, because Dr. Goadsby did give an excellent summary about some of the new migraine treatments that are now being tested.

What follows is a summary of the interview…

The Problem

Today we have various treatments for migraine, most of which were not developed specifically for migraine. We’re not sure why many of them work, and patients must struggle with a number of side effects. “It’s a really awful mishmash of things that we have to offer.”

What’s Coming

There are some very exciting treatments that are being developed. The two that the interview focused on are related to CGRP (calcitonin gene-related peptide neurotransmitter).

Now the exciting thing about both of these is that they are working well in various trials. In fact, some people taking these are going a long time with no migraine attacks whatsoever.

How does this work?

The treatments use monoclonal antibodies directed against the CGRP. (Note: these are antibodies created in the lab for a specific purpose. Monoclonal antibodies are also being used in cancer treatment.)

One question is just how to best deliver the antibodies to have the maximum effect.

A big question is – why do these medications work so well (“spectacularly well”, said Dr. Goadsby more than once) for certain patients?  If we can figure that out, we could “deliver personalized, highly effective treatments that are well tolerated to a group of people who are otherwise horribly disabled“.

Dr. Goadsby thinks that the clue will probably be found in a genetic marker.  If we can find better personalized treatments, we will help patients, doctors, and society as a whole.

When is it going to happen?

Dr. Goadsby was reluctant to make a prediction, but he finally said,“I’m going to predict that in five years or so we will be using these medicines in clinical practice and they will revolutionize practice.”

Click the image below to go to the interview.

Dr. Goadsby Migraine Interview

via The Daily Headache

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2 comments… add one
  • Oliveira Jan 14, 2015

    He is right about the awful treatments available. I have been in and out of different treatments for over 20 years. The side effects are worth mentioning: sleep up to 16 hours a day, over 12 kilos weight gain, unable to make myself a cup of tea, or even to use the toilette without help. Life? Career? What life? What career? You are left as a vegetable. Do you feel pain, no, not really, but you can’t even get out of bed, you don’t feel anything as you can hardly speak. I decided to take opiates and try to have a life as best as I could. Spent almost 20 years been treated as a drug addicted because I have chronic pain. It’s a condition that destroys your life, doesn’t kill you but it destroys your existence. They don’t come as cruel as this one. A lot more needs to be done.

  • mark Sep 12, 2017

    Hi all, I’m disturbed that it is very difficult to find any reference to treatment other than drugs. There are patients who respond to manual therapy of the neck that on examination will reproduce symptoms of headache and with sustained hold will have the symptoms abate. This can have a progressive effect. Sometimes not complete, but often considerable benefit. The research from Dean Watson PhD shows brainstem sensitivity links in headache/migraine sufferers and when that link is demonstrated, cervical afferent based treatment can help. Look up the Watson method. I worked with Dean, this works, not every time, but it can help a lot of people and cessation of treatment is reached within 4-5 sessions if no effect.

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