New Drug Can Cure Migraines - Insight Trending

New Drug Can Cure Migraines

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The new drug, Aimovig, is an antibody, just like the antibodies our immune system makes to attack viruses and other intruders. These antibodies have been produced in a lab, designed to glom onto receptors in our body that would otherwise interact with a protein called CGRP. It’s not clear exactly what CGRP does, or why levels increase during migraines. Amgen, Aimovig’s maker, sums up the state of current knowledge on its website:

“There may be a connection between CGRP, CGRP receptors, and migraine.”

A migraine is a neurological disorder characterized by the expansion of blood vessels in the brain due to the release of inflammatory substances from nerves, resulting in a severe headache. Its symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or sound.

The root cause of a migraine is unknown, but the disorder is believed to occur as a result of a temporary change in the brain chemicals and blood vessels. It may also be caused by hormonal, emotional, physical, dietary, and environmental changes, as well as certain other medical factors.

“If approved, Erenumab will be the one of the first fully human monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of migraine.”

A lot is still unknown. The patient information for Aimovig says that nobody knows whether the drug is safe to use if you got some personal treatment. Elizabeth Loder, a neurologist at Harvard, pointed out in a tweet that a condition of the FDA approving Aimovig was that the company has to study whether people who take the drug are more at risk for liver toxicity, heart attacks, and stroke.

Those are averages, though, and they hide something very significant 40 percent of the migraine patients in the trials got a huge reduction in migraine days 50 percent or better. If you’re one of those people, great. And if you’re one of the 24 percent who had the same reduction in the placebo group, the better knows. But for some people to have this strong reaction, others must have had no effect or a very small effect. So there’s a chance that some of the people who get their insurance to pay $575 a month for this drug might not get any benefit at all. So far, there’s no way to know before you try it which group you’ll fall into.

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