Peptide Therapy For Migraine

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Peptide Therapy For Migraine

Peptide therapy for migraine is a novel treatment that works by targeting specific neuropeptides and receptors to interrupt the chain of events that causes headaches. When injected under the skin, these drugs have shown significant reductions in days with migraine symptoms.

CGRP, first discovered in 1998, is a type of peptide released when trigger stimuli like insect sting or electric shock [13] activate the trigeminal sensory nerves and their receptors [19]. While other types of peptides have been used for migraine research, the discovery of CGRP set off an entirely new paradigm that enabled preventive therapies targeting CGRP and its receptors.

In the coming years, there is expected to be a flurry of CGRP-blocking drugs for migraine. Four drug companies are actively developing these treatments; two versions have already been submitted to the FDA for approval.

The CGRP receptor, found throughout various body locations including the brain, plays an integral role in migraine pathophysiology. This small protein has several distinct functions and plays a part in various pain pathways like neuronal release of pronociceptive substances and activation of the sympathetic nervous system.

In addition to inciting migraine attacks, CGRP also exerts a beneficial effect on other migraine symptoms like nausea and vomiting. Thus, taking anti-CGRP gepants may reduce their frequency.

Calcitonin gene-related peptide antagonists are an emerging class of acute therapies that can be given in the emergency room or on an as-needed basis during a migraine attack. They represent a new class of drugs designed to assist those suffering from chronic migraine who have not responded well to older, migraine-specific medications.

These new gepants have been found to work similarly to triptans, yet with fewer side effects and without the potential risks. Furthermore, they may be more suitable for patients with certain medical conditions like heart disease or vascular issues that would prevent them from taking traditional triptans.

The advent of CGRP-targeted monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) is an exciting development that could revolutionize migraine treatment. These monoclonal antibodies bind to CGRP and block its receptor, potentially decreasing nerve sensitivity responsible for migraine pain sensation. mAbs can be injected subcutaneously and results have been encouraging in several studies.

A clinical trial is underway to test if CGRP-targeted monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) can be used as a preventive medication for migraine. The purpose of the experiment is to see if monthly injections of these mAbs can reduce both migraine days and their severity.

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