Migraine Headaches – Is More Help on the Way?

Migraine Headaches - Is More Help on the Way?

Is hope on the way for migraine sufferers?

This week’s 57th meeting of the American Headache Society in Washington D.C. is getting some uncharacteristic pre-meeting buzz.

And it’s because of some of the treatments on the way for migraine headaches.

Migraines are a huge health care issue - the estimate is 37 million Americans suffer from them, mostly women.

And some leaders in the treatment of migraines believe that number may be understated.

Dr. Andrew Charles, who is Director of the Headache Research and Treatment Program at UCLA thinks migraines are often attributed to something else.

“99% of sinus headaches, much of neck pain and a considerable amount of fibromyalgia pain may, in reality, be migraines,” Charles told us.

What has people interested is the development of anti-calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) monoclonal antibodies to fight migraine. Big players like Lilly (NYSE:LLY), Teva (NYSE:TEVA) and Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) along with high flying start up Alder Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALDR) are in various stages of drug development. CGRP modulates transmission of pain and dilation of blood vessels. (Here’s a link to the Investor’s Business Daily article on it)

And if a non-pharmaceutical intervention is your preference, eNeura’s Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation device has just attracted a $15 million loan from Orthofix, a Texas company. The device, called The SpringTMS System works by placing the device against the base of your skull for a minute. Orthofix has an 18 month option to buy eNeura. Orthofix’s marketing muscle could help drive wider acceptance of the TMS device.

The World Health Organization estimates that 10 percent of the adults worldwide suffer from migraine and that up to 4 percent of adults have headaches for 15 or more days per month.

Migraines are severe, throbbing and often debilitating headaches. They can be accompanied by nausea or vomiting. Migraines can be triggered by certain activities, foods, smells or emotions.

According to the Migraine Research Foundation migraines:

  • Occur in nearly one in four U.S. households
  • Strike over 10% of the population-including children-suffers from migraine which is more than diabetes and asthma combined
  • Run in families. If one parent suffers from migraine, there is a 40% chance a child will suffer. (If both parents have migraines, that number runs to 90%)
  • More than 90% of sufferers are unable to work or function normally during their migraine. In fact, American employers lose more than $13 billion each year as a result of 113 million lost work days due to migraine.

Editor’s Note: June is Migraine Awareness Month. We are interested (and not just this month) is stories from people who suffer from migraines, their family members or people who treat them. If you have an idea or a personal story, let us know by emailing us Editor@nationalpainreport.com

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan