19-Jun-15 6:00 AM  CST

New Help For Migraines Before They Start May Be On The Horizon

For those of use who suffer from migraines or anyone who has ever had a migraine, the symptoms can be debilitating. In some cases the aftermath can last for days, making it next to impossible to feel like you again. According to the Migraine Research Foundation 1 in 4 households in the U.S. have at least one person who suffers from migraines. Approximately 10% of the population suffers from migraines, and of those who suffer 18% are women and 6% are men. Research has proven that migraines are hereditary. In fact if at least one parent suffers from migraines there is a 40% chance at least one of their children will also suffer from migraines as well. The percentage more than doubles if both parents have a history of migraines taking the chance that their child will also suffer from migraines to 90%.

Anyone who has a history of migraines knows that there are often certain signs that one is headed straight at them. Not all suffers have the same symptoms associated with migraines, but some of the common warning signs include, constipation, depression, food cravings, hyperactivity, uncontrollable yawning, neck stiffness, and irritability. Of course these symptoms typically show themselves over the course of several days leading up to a migraine event.

Auras, one of the most recognized symptoms of a migraine, can happen prior to or during a migraine episode. Auras tend to build as the migraine progresses and typically last between 20 to 60 minutes. Auras are a nervous system response and often include a heightened sensitivity to touch, movement or speech. For example, loss or control of speech, visual loss or decrease in vision as well as experiencing bright lights, shapes of light or flashes of light. Some migraine sufferers also experience a feeling of “pins and needles” in their arms and legs.

As debilitating as the symptoms become the attack itself does the most damage. Untreated a migraine may last up to 72 hours. Not all sufferers experience a migraine the same way, but in general pain is felt on either one side of the head or the other. Blurred vision, intense sensitivity to light, motion and sound as well as a pulsating, throbbing feeling in the brain. Additionally, lightheadedness, which can be followed by fainting and nausea and vomiting are sure signs you are experiencing a migraine.

Various teams of researchers now believe they may have uncovered a drug that will help to disengage migraines before they begin. The new drugs attack a biochemical known as calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). Currently in phase 2 of clinical trials the new drugs are showing great promise. The current standard of treatment for migraines, a classification of drugs known as triptans, also work by blocking CGRP, but do not prevent the episode from happening.

Teva Pharmaceuticals, Eli Lilly and Company as well as Amgen Biopharmaceuticals are all currently in phase 2 clinical trials for CGRP drugs that help to prevent the symptoms of migraines. All drugs in development, which must be given via injection, have not officially been named by the pharmaceutical companies, but in most cases can reduce the incidence of migraines by as much as 50%. Further information concerning the advancement to phase 3 clinical trials was not specified.


Mayo Clinic, (2015), “Migraine”, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraine-headache/basics/symptoms/con-20026358, retrieved, 19th June 2015

Migraine Research Foundation, (2015) , http://www.migraineresearchfoundation.org/, retrieved, 19th June 2015

Thompson, D., (2015), “New Drugs Might Prevent Migraines Before They Start”, WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/news/20150618/new-drugs-might-prevent-migraines-before-they-start, retrieved 19th June 2015


For additional information on this article, please contact:
Sandra Andrews
(717) 360-1159
Source: Sandy Andrews  

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