Migraine sufferers may be helped to ease their pain by using an experimental drug that was developed by Amgen, Inc., and its partner, Novartis AG. On June 8, 2016, the chronic-headache prevention drug, has so far, had positive results for a component called erenumab, which managed to diminish the number of monthly migraine attacks.
The trials found that migraines sufferers may be helped by the experimental drug. Erenumab can help to prevent megrim attacks in people who have suffered from headaches over a long time period. The patients experienced, on average, 18 megrims per month. Those that received the drug saw their number of severe headaches reduced by almost 37 percent, while the sufferers who took the placebo only experienced a decrease of 23 percent. The drug was administered to 667 migraine sufferers in two doses of 70 mg and 140 mg, over a 12-week trial.
According to Bidnessetc, the drug ”works by inhibiting the receptors for calcitonin gene-related peptide, a molecule known to cause migraines when present in higher quantities.” Erenumab is considered fairly safe because no adverse effects were reported in more than five percent of the patients.
Chronic Migraines Provoked by Vitamin Deficiencies
What causes megrims is mainly still a mystery. In order to find a cause, specialists are evaluating sufferers for other underlying medical conditions, such as food intolerances and sleep issues. Recently, doctors have found that vitamin deficiencies may be causing chronic headaches.
On June 10, 2016, at the 58th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society, that took place in San Diego, researchers presented their work, suggesting that some vitamin supplements could prevent or even stop the occurrences of frequent migraines. According to their study, the sufferers are more likely having ”mildly lower levels of vitamin D, riboflavin (B-2) and coenzyme Q10,” which are required for the energy production centers of the body’s cells, known as mitochondria.
Children Are Not Migraine-Free
Almost 7.5 million kids in the U.S. are suffering from megrims. This may cause an average loss of eight school days per year, which is twice the number of days migraine-free children miss.
The chronic headaches could be a result of allergies to foods, lack of sleep, dehydration, low blood sugar, or stress. The symptoms include nausea, sound and light sensitivity, dizziness, and throbbing pain, and are usually experienced 24 hours in advance.
In order to avoid the headaches, children should get enough sleep and eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and vitamin B2, which are known to help prevent and treat headaches.
Green Light for Migraine Sufferers
Migraine patients may present with a sensitivity to light making bright lights being debilitating. In spite of that, the Harvard Medical School researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have discovered that all lights are not created equal. Migraine sufferers may also be helped by using green lights beside the experimental drug.
Researchers recruited several migraine patients and took them into a dark room. There, they were shown four different colors; blue, red, amber, and green. The headache experts found that, while blue and red light make migraines worse, the green light actually reduced the pain by 20 percent. This may be possible because green light produces the smallest signals in the eye and brain.
The lead author of the study, researcher Rami Burstein PhD., is working on a special light bulb and sunglasses that will be able to filter out all the migraine-unfriendly colors. The main objective is to make the products affordable for the millions of Americans who are dealing with megrims.
By Bianca-Ramona Dumitru
Edited by Jeanette Smith
BidnessEtc.com: Amgen, Inc. Migraine Drug Has No Edge Over Rivals From Teva, Lilly
Boston.CBSlocal.com: Green Light Could Ease Suffering In Patients With Migraines
DailyHerald.com: Children’s migraines: How to help kids who get headaches
Newsweek.com: Vitamin Deficiencies May Prompt Chronic Migraines
Image Courtesy of Jenn G’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License