The Quest for Migraine Treatment: Mysterious Business

August 22, 2012

The search for effective migraine treatments has been baffling medical scientists for years.  This may have at least a little to do with the fact that the mechanism and nature of chronic migraines is also not completely understood with certainty.  What is for certain is that science has come a very long way in developing a variety of treatments which offer migraine sufferers a choice among therapies that are best suited for their unique migraine condition and symptoms.  From medications to interventional procedures, like the Omega Migraine Procedure, the right treatment may often depend on trial and error for each patient.

The Wall Street Journal reported recently that researchers are directing much of their efforts in developing drugs that either block or act like antibodies to absorb the brain chemical CGRP  (calcitonin gene-related peptide neurotransmitter), which they suspect has something to do with migraine pain.  Their objective is to prevent CGRP from binding to its receptors, before pain occurs. Scientists are hoping to develop this category of migraine treatment, since many of the existing products may only help 50-60 percent of sufferers, and some patients may not be able to take them at all due to pre-existing medical conditions such as heart disease.

A little over a decade ago it was believed that migraines were triggered by vascular constriction in the brain.  Most recently scientists have come to understand that migraines are a brain disorder, involving a miscommunication of the pain sensory circuitry.  Experts still disagree as to the exact triggers of migraines, but know that the trigeminal nerve is involved with transmitting the pain signals

The Wall Street Journal reports that while the CGRP blockers, or antagonists are promising, they have been linked to liver toxicity during early developmental studies.  Otherwise, however, the drug would not pose a danger to those with cardiovascular disease.  At this point it seems like there are no perfect medicines available to patients who are currently suffering with migraine symptoms.  Interventional procedures may provide a more desirable and long lasting treatment for some.  The Omega Migraine Procedure, performed by Migraine Treatment Centers of America’s network of board certified physicians, could be just the answer to the quest for migraine sufferers who are looking for a drug free treatment.

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