The migraine therapy that cut off the attacks was hailed as & # 39; great deal & # 39;


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A new approach to preventing migraines can reduce the number and severity of attacks, two clinical trials show.

About 50% of people in a study halved the number of migraines they had each month, which King & # 39; s College Hospital researchers called a "big deal."

The treatment is the first designed specifically to prevent migraine and uses antibodies to alter the activity of chemicals in the brain.

Additional trials will be needed to badess long-term effects.

  • One in seven people worldwide lives with the regular agony of migraine
  • Migraine is up to three times more common in women than in men
  • La Migraña estimates that there are more than 190,000 attacks of migraine every day in the United Kingdom
  • People with headaches for less than 15 days a month have episodic migraine
  • If it is more than 15 days it is clbadified as chronic migraine

Research has shown a substance Chemistry in the brain related to the calcitonin peptide gene or CGRP – is involved in pain and sensitivity to sound and light in migraine.

Four pharmaceutical companies are competing to develop antibodies that neutralize CGRP. Some work by sticking to CGRP, while others block the part of a brain cell with which it interacts.

Clinical trials with two of the antibodies have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

An antibody, erenumab manufactured by Novartis, was tested in 955 patients with episodic migraine.

At the beginning of the trial, patients had migraines on an average of eight days per month.

The study found that 50% of those who received antibody injections halved the number of migraine days per month. Approximately 27% had a similar effect without treatment, reflecting the natural ebb and flow of the disease.

Another antibody, fremanezumab manufactured by Teva pharmaceuticals, was tested on 1,130 patients with chronic migraine.

About 41% of patients reduced the number of migraine days by half compared to 18% without treatment.

  • & # 39; They told me I'd get fired for migraines & # 39;

Professor Peter Goadsby, who led the trials with erenumab at the NIHR research center in King & # 39; s, told the BBC: "It's a big business because it offers a breakthrough in the understanding of the disorder and a treatment of designer migraine.

"Reduces the frequency and severity of headaches.

"These patients will recover parts of their life and society will make these people work again."

He said that other data, not published in the latest studies, suggested that one fifth of patients did not have migraines after treatment.

Better option?

Antibodies are not the only preventive medications for migraine. Others include pills for epilepsy and heart disease, as well as botox.

But Simon Evans, the executive director of Migraine Action, said those drugs had many side effects and that they did not work for everyone.

"Some doctors give patients the option of being angry or fat and dosed and the drug they give them depends on their response," he said.

The hope is to discover CGRP and, precisely, to direct it with antibodies should lead to fewer side effects. Both studies say that long-term safety data should still be studied.

The problem with antibodies is that they tend to be more expensive than other therapies.

Prof. Goadsby believes that patients who receive no benefit from existing treatments or can not cope with side effects are the ones who will benefit the most.

Dr. Andy Dowson, who administers the headache services in Kent and London, said: "I am very excited that we have something new, but we need to know the cost, who will respond and much more as we go through the line

"Chronic migraine is in the seven main conditions for lifelong disability and, however, not much is done about it, perhaps this will help us to progress."

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