On July 10th at the Strathallan Hotel, Dr. Joseph Mann and Rochester Clinical Research presented Migraines: The Battle for a Cure. Over 110 people came to hear Dr. Mann present as well as participate in a live question and answer portion of the evening. The presentation gave insight on why migraines occur, how migraines affects your life and available treatments options.
Migraines can take many forms, and many times individuals will refer their migraine as just a headache or pain. Migraines can be bilateral, unilateral, pulsing or non-pulsing. You can experience migraine pain in peripheral locations such as your neck or in your sinus area. Next, Dr. Mann discussed the migraine phases and the importance of identifying the earliest stages so you can avoid the advanced headache/migraine and postdrome phase.
Now that you can identify a migraine, what causes them? Dr. Mann reviewed two different causes including Cortical Spreading Depression (which occurs in clinically silent areas of the cortex) and dysfunction of brainstem nuclei which might exert a permissive role by favoring central trigeminal hyper-excitability.
Preventing migraines is the first form of treatment. The goal of prevention is to decrease the intensity and duration of pain and most bothersome symptoms. It allows the individual to decrease disability and use of acute medications. Preventing also takes away the unpredictability. Unpredictability leads to stress and fear for future disruptive attacks which can result to a decrease in quality of life. Most importantly, prevent decreases the risk to turning your migraines into chronic migraines which may lead to changes in the brain. Prevention can begin by learning what triggers your migraines, and avoiding them. Triggers can include stress, hunger, sleep disturbance, dehydration, diet, environmental stimuli, as well as changes in estrogen levels in women.
Treatment is a second options after prevention. There are several FDA approved migraine treatments available on the market, however not everyone is a good candidate. Botox, Cefaly Tens Device, Triptans, and many others have been available. The newest approved migraine treatment is Aimovig (erenumab) which is a type of monoclonal antibody treatment. It resembles antibodies that the body naturally produces to bind to infectious pathogens. Since the CGRP widens blood vessels and can contribute to inflammation and pain transmission. Aimovig is delivered once a month with an EpiPen like injector. It works by the block the receptor for CGRP, reducing pain. See below an illustration of how Aimovig works.
As another care option, Rochester Clinical Research also addresses patient’s dissatisfaction with current preventatives and treatments. Our goal is to improve efficacy, provide better safety and tolerability, and provide faster onset and longer duration compared to current available medications. Right now, Rochester Clinical Research is offering several clinical research trials that may treat our migraines. Trials include a Natural Nasal Spray, an Oral migraine medication (a disolving tablet), an injection medication (once per month), and many other different trials coming up this fall. All of our studies do not require health insurance and compensation may be available for time and travel if you qualify. Each study has very specific inclusions exclusions to protect you and your health. Our Doctors and Nurses monitor your health closely and work with your primary care physician. Signing up is easy. Click on “RCR Studies – Currently Enrolling Studies” to see available studies. Find a study that interests you? See if you qualify by clicking the “See if you Qualify” button or call 585-288-0890 to speak with one of our recruiters.
Want to hear more from the event? Check out several of our Facebook Live Videos from the evening on our Facebook Page.