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New migraine treatments show promise
April 22nd, 2014
06:07 PM ET

New migraine treatments show promise

There are few treatments available for the millions of people who suffer from migraines. New early-stage research offers new hope.

Studies presented Tuesday at the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting suggest that two new drugs may prevent migraines from happening.

"We've identified a new preventive treatment for migraines, something that reduces frequency, the number of attacks and severity of attacks, how bad the attacks are," said Dr. Peter Goadsby, co-author of both studies and professor of neurology at Kings College, London and the University of California, San Francisco. "The results herald a new mechanism for the preventive treatment of migraines."

That mechanism involves a protein called calcitonin gene-related peptide, or CGRP. CGRP is one of the key chemicals that causes the debilitating effects of a migraine. Both drugs work by blocking CGRP and therefore stopping the migraine from starting.

Both drugs are genetically engineered antibodies, a class of drug that's been used in cancer treatments, but not yet for migraines.

The studies

One drug called ALD403 was tested for safety and efficacy in 163 patients, who typically spent 5 to 14 days per month suffering from migraines. Half got one 1000 mg intravenous dose of ALD403; the other half got a placebo. They were followed for 6 months. Within 2 months, patients on the drug saw a 66% reduction in the number of days they suffered migraines. They had on average nearly 6 more migraine-free days each month, compared to a 52% decrease (or just under 5 days) in those who got the placebo.

At 12 weeks, 16% of the patients who got the ALD403 were free of migraines. Those on the placebo were not.

The other promising drug is called LY2951742.  It too was found to be a safe and effective migraine treatment. In that study, 217 patients who had migraines 4 to 14 days per month got a 150 mg injection of LY2951742 every two weeks for 12 weeks. Those who got the shots saw about a 4-day reduction (or 63%) in the number of days with migraines, compared to a 42% decrease for those who got the placebo.

Results

Goadsby and Dr. David Dodick, co-authors of both studies, say this treatment is exciting because it's entirely new and specific to migraines. Dodick, a professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic and Chairman of the American Migraine Foundation, said no drugs targeting the treatment of migraines have been developed in the past 50 years.

"Presumably if you're targeting the very protein responsible for an attack, you should have fewer side effects than (with) drugs which were designed to treat some other disease, and all drugs currently available for the prevention of migraines were designed to treat another disease."

While there was no difference in the side effects reported by patients taking ALD403 and the placebo, patients getting LY2951742 reported side effects including pain at the injection site, abdominal pain and upper respiratory tract infections. Still, researchers say the drug is safe and well tolerated.

Implications

The studies are good news for migraine specialists such as Dr. William Young, a professor of neurology at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

"I'm impressed. We haven't had a well proven preventive for episodic migraines like this since Topomax and Botox for chronic migraine," says Young.

He says a quarter of his patients cannot hold down a job because of their migraines, and the condition is often stigmatized.

Why are there so few good treatments for migraines? Young, Goadsby and Dodick all point to the lack of funding of migraine research by the National Institutes of Health.

"There is an appalling, appalling under-resourcing of migraine research by government bodies such as NIH, Goadsby said. "There are 36 million Americans with migraines and on average the NIH spends about 30 US cents per migraine patient per year."

Dr. Linda Porter, a Pain Policy Advisor at the NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke said "I would agree that we really do not spend a lot of research dollars on migraine and headache, but we do understand that it's an incredibly significant health care problem and that chronic migraines can be very disabling for many people."

In a statement to CNN, NIH characterized the funding issue as "a little bit complicated."

"Our entire pain portfolio is $400 million dollars, that includes anything from osteoarthritis to cancer pain," the statement said, "and so one of the difficulties that we have faced over the years in funding headache research is that the field of researchers is very small."

Porter says more research dollars aren't allocated to studying pain because of the few research applications they receive. "Over the past 10 years we have made great efforts to give funding priority to new or junior investigators in headache research to try to expand the field of researchers and thus expand the research portfolio."

A lot of the basic science on the molecule (CGRP) which is used in these new drugs was funded by NIH, Porter said. She says the NIH is excited about these new studies.

But the drugs need to be tested in large scale clinical trials, and receive FDA approval, before patients can access them. Researchers estimate that's at least 3 years away.


soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. cynthiaavishegnath

    As far as my own migraine goes ...

    I have found that the best treatment is drinking lots of water dissipates my migraines. I can't drink fruit juice straight from the bottle because the sugar sucks up all the hydration and make the migraines worse. I have to dilute the juice , one part juice 4 parts water. I also drink diluted green tea or fruit flavoured tea. I have to drink so much diluted juice to put my migraines at bay that I have to pee every two hours during the day.

    I also have to give in to my cravings for food, and fortunately I crave after the grassy green scents and tastes of rarely cooked vegetables. A bite of a juicy red apples sends sensations that alleviates my tensed brain cells – the act of eating an apple is itself an anti-migraine therapy.

    Perhaps, there are people whose source of migraine might be their animal instincts for water. like my case?

    April 23, 2014 at 09:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • grant

      The Juice diluting comment was very interesting, because I have to do the same thing. I have to dilute my Gatorade/Powerade and Juice with lots of ice and extra water, otherwise it can actually go as far to be a trigger for my migraines.

      April 23, 2014 at 12:50 | Report abuse |
    • TINE

      I use sprite in my juice. I also have Cambia that I take when one is coming on.

      April 24, 2014 at 14:33 | Report abuse |
    • Unegen

      I'm sorry, but this is so laughably off-base I had to comment. If your "migraine" gets better when you drink something....it's not a migraine. You were just dehydrated.

      April 24, 2014 at 16:45 | Report abuse |
    • l. scott

      Your comment is as relevant and appreciated as anyone's. I get migraines. Tension headaches leading up to them, as well as the migraines themselves, are sometimes relieved by liquids and other soothers. Yes, sometimes we need to hydrate more and avoid caffeine, alcohol. I like some herbal teas. Sometimes nothing works and there are no known triggers. I avoid all medications because I don't have good reactions and I find people tend to take more and more and they work less and less and people stop looking for natural remedies. I did that when I was young with Tylenol and Ibuprofen thinking if two didn't work maybe six would. I thought if it didn't work it had no impact on my body. Luckily I was young and overall healthy. At most I take an aspirin occasionally now because I am afraid of stroke and occasionally it takes the tension pain away. Thanks for your opinion.

      April 24, 2014 at 19:16 | Report abuse |
    • Kyle

      Exactly. If drinking that much water gets rid of your migraine, then you were indeed simply dehydrated. A true migraine would have you nauseous enough to where you'd be puking up all that juice. See, this is one of those things where the term "Migraine." Is thrown around. Anytime someone has a headache it becomes a "Migraine." I am only 28 but have suffered 12 years with migraines. I have tried 55, yes count em 55 different medicines :\. So, this kind of made me chuckle a bit.

      July 26, 2014 at 10:08 | Report abuse |
  2. Guest

    Drinking a bit cold water helps. Getting 7 to 8 hrs of good sleep definitely helps. Sweets will not do any good. Head and neck massage helps a lot too. Taking shower in just a little cold water also helps reduce the pain.

    Most people who suffers from migraine figure out there own ways of handling the pain and sometimes if you do things right it totally goes away.

    April 23, 2014 at 10:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Fiona

      No, guest. What you are talking about is a simple tension headache, not a migraine. Please don't comment on something you have clearly never experienced.

      April 23, 2014 at 20:40 | Report abuse |
    • Fiona

      No, guest. What you are talking about is a simple tension headache, not a migraine. Please don't comment on something you have clearly never experienced. You might as well opine that someone with a broken leg just needs to walk it off.

      April 23, 2014 at 20:41 | Report abuse |
    • l. scott

      For me, a tension headache often leads into a migraine, so yes, stopping a tension headache stops the migraine. Tension often caused by anxiety and relationships; family, work, or otherwise. When I was younger I couldn't stop them, but over the years I have found ways, slowing down to pay attention. I need to rest, I need to self-sooth in a quiet, darker, relaxing place, I need time, (both often difficult to find), and yes, the right liquids help. Magnesium seems to help. Massage helps. I have learned to do a lot of stretching and ballet, skater moves to stretch my spine and neck, loosen my jaw because it releases tension. (I have TMJ, since wiring my jaw for braces as a kid, a funny hip, and mild scoliosis.) A down pillow of the highest quality is my best friend, NOT the plumpest, but I search through all the down pillows, even of the same brand, looking for the one that will be gentlest, softest, lightest against my head, and I am very possessive... and then my children steal it. ;) I get them decent pillows too because I believe in it, but Mum's is always the favourite. I can last without my own for a maximum of two days. I have found an aspirin early enough may help. I cannot stop time of month migraines, which are migraines. But as I am older they are less extreme. I can only stop or more often, lessen migraines that begin during the day with tension, when I am awake. But yes, I definitely have migraines. They usually start about 1 to 2 am. and are extremely painful from the get-go. I rush to the bathroom to vomit and don't know how I get there because usually when I first wake up in sudden agony the pain knocks me back down before I throw myself out of bed and run to the washroom. I spend until at least 6 am. lying near to the toilet vomiting repeatedly with small breaks in between. It is so painful to my head. I have to go through, I cannot go around, my whole body tensing up like all of it has contracted, extreme pain, every bone in my face, jaw, neck, head, back, shoulders, tightening up until, after excruciating pain, it finally, slowly releases. (My husband says I literally look like a skeleton when it tenses up so much and my face is completely contorted when I am in the thick of it. I want to cry but it hurts too much and then I cry anyway, but sometimes it is just tears out of the corners of my eyes and I can't stop the tears because they come without me crying. My face won't loosen until I have been through.) I vomit and the pain in my head is excruciating. My eyes hurt. One or both. I can't stand smells, light, I can't speak properly, or think properly. Things are blurry. Often I am not thinking properly or speaking properly for up to three days before I even have the migraine, but there is something about it that prevents me from registering that a migraine is coming. I crawl around on the floor to do anything because I am so sick and in so much pain. And lift myself up slowly where I need to, to get something off a counter. When I worked away from home I used to stay at work until 11pm, since I had worked all day in pain, and when everyone else left I would put my head on my desk, close my eyes and allow the pain to consume me, as it needed to do, before I could get over it. I also did not want to chance vomiting on the way home. By around 11pm I was ready despite being nauseous and in pain to slowly make my way home, walking in the dark. The dark gave me privacy and the fresh air was good, even though I had access often to fresh air during the day, but the air at night is better. I didn't think I could have children because the migraines would not allow me to care properly for them, but I managed to anyway, but it was very, very difficult. I homeschool now, which makes it easier because it was difficult to get my children to school when I was in so much pain and it was suggested to me by the school district. What I don't know if anyone else is afraid to mention and I have not before, is it affects my stomach as well, and often I wish I had two toilets at once, but whether I vomit or use the toilet first, it helps. I cannot leave the house until everything I am going through is dealt with. I also had, and it suddenly left me, a situation that started a couple of years ago, where I would get a swelling on my head that felt like a hematoma and would be in different places on my head each time. It would be very painful to the touch. At first and sometimes it would only be a spot that wasn't raised that was painful, and then other times it would be huge with spiderlike veins? twisting and swollen running from it down the sides of my head. I took aspirin when ever it scared me, and suddenly one day I felt it leaving my head like a rush and it hasn't been back a few months. Knock on wood. When I was a teenager, a simple deep pimple could cause a headache which would lead to a migraine. No doctor would believe me. I have terrible reactions to medication like Imitrex. My whole body freezes, I feel like I can feel the pill rushing through my body, and my arms become numb and useless like I am having some sort of stroke. When I was young I could have three weeks with straight pain which now I can feel comes in three day spurts which subside for an hour or two only to resume in repeat three day spurts. I have had migraines since a child and my great-grandmother used to go to bed for a week at a time because of the pain she was in. It has run in the family but only one or two per generation get them through all the cousins. I did not know about my great-grandmother until just a couple years before my grandmother died she mentioned it to me, as she always had to look after her little sisters and brothers when it happened. I do think having some strong hits to the head in my life probably didn't help. And a lot of stress. I do believe tension headaches and migraines are related. I worked for a woman who was in a predicament and a bad marriage and she had them all the time when things were at their worst. Definitely migraines. What I loved, especially when I was young, that is lessened now, was the wonderful euphoria of being free of migraines, when they were over. I always felt I could conquer the world, would never get another one again, (until next time), and I could fly around accomplishing all kinds of things. I loved the energy and the feeling of being pain-free. Because some of my migraines were hormonal and I have fewer hormones now I have a more balanced situation now. I miss the energy and happiness of being pain-free but am relieved I have fewer, less severe extreme pain migraines now, even though everyone wishes for their youth to stay. However, they still take a chunk out of my life and only some are hormone related, others are stress-related, but the stress could even just be smelling the wrong thing, and many have no explanation. I do also need to be careful of bright sun. I don't wish any of this on anyone, and I also trust that everyone has their own experiences. Migraines have really hampered my sleep ability and I think over time must damage the brain. They have taken a toll on my earning potential. I know migraines have really hampered my life. They took a huge toll on my schooling. I could not get anyone to understand how the pain and sickness could prevent me from getting things done, because when I am well, I am so well, and in all other ways feel so healthy and blessed that I even forget the ordeal I have been through and can almost not explain it. I have to think hard to remember everything to say here. I almost forgot to say that often I would like to sleep for 24 hours after, because I am exhausted from the ordeal, but life doesn't allow for that. When I am on the other side of a migraine I get on with enjoying life and live it to the fullest, to the best of my ability, without hesitation. It used to be the euphoria carried me, but now I am carried by the faith in myself that I will get through it. When I was young I used to wish the pain didn't stop me from dragging myself onto a highway. I used to wish I could be run over by a Mack truck, the pain was so great. I used to think that hitting my head with a hammer would help and actually tried it, and I used to want to reach into my brain to pull out the offending painful part. Often I wanted to end things. But I have made it through to now. And I love everything else about life. When I was pregnant and when my first child was born the migraines I got were as bad as they get, but I have made it to a better place and even stress has less of an impact now. It is hard to remove it but I am more protective of myself now and I give myself a talking to about not going to negative places in my mind. I sooth my mind. I tell myself the right things. I really appreciate the life I have and especially, my children in it. I really love nature and people and just being. I make the most of the life I have that is migraine free, but it has been tough getting here. I feel for everyone with this problem because it is in the head, I think it has a bigger impact. I won't judge anyone else's experience and I wish you all, the best.

      April 24, 2014 at 18:44 | Report abuse |
    • l. scott

      Someone mentioned migraines from relaxing and having fun and that is true also. Being really happy about something, or thinking that I am going to be able to relax, even because it is the weekend, often leads to migraines. When I was young I didn't understand why I would lose most weekends to migraines, but I also think this must somehow relate to tension leading to a migraine, only the reverse. Believe me, I know what the difference between a headache and a migraine is, but I also feel that those pain pathways can become very painful with either one or both, and sometimes more sensitive over the years. On another note, I have a teenage neighbour who got three day migraines on a regular basis and she had to go to hospital everytime she got a severe migraine because they were so bad. They would give her shots of something. She cut out all gluten products with the help of her Mum and now only rarely gets a migraine. I used to feel bread bothered me if it said extra gluten, but now I buy organic and ancient organic wheats it seems not to be a problem.

      April 25, 2014 at 15:38 | Report abuse |
  3. Kristi

    How can you people not understand that people who have suffered with this horrible condition cannot drink a cup of cold water or take a shower and have the headache go away! I have suffered for 33 years with this. From shots to seizure meds, and insurance company's who believe that you will have 9 debilitating days a month. Really? Need someone to try n alternate method- I'm there.
    If you haven't been there- don't bother.

    April 23, 2014 at 10:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Zooey

      The thing is, these techniques can help some people, even if they don't help you. Migraine can be unpredictable and can vary a lot between attacks and between individuals. Anything's worth a try! I am sorry that you haven't yet found good enough ways to manage your condition.

      April 23, 2014 at 12:05 | Report abuse |
    • Katy

      Kristi, you are SO on the money! I, too, have suffered for over 40 yrs. At first, it was hormonal mixed with a bit of stress a few times a year. Now, at the age of almost 61, I have eliminated ALL my triggers – alcohol, certain foods. lifestyle changes, etc. It's been a long road. I get them nearly 3 times a week and still go to work due to the Imitrex that is a lifesaving medication – for me. It's not for everyone. The insurance companies are a JOKE – 9 tabs of Imitrex a month for 9 migraines! Are you kidding me? What idiot came up with this magic number of 9??? I've tried Topamax and all the preventatives and they had terrible side effects – for me. Also, Botox did nothing. Drinking cold water is laughable, but for someone who it works great for – it's fantastic that they can just do that and not resort to the big guns. They are very lucky. I just think that more research needs to be done for those of us that could really use something that works for the long term.

      April 23, 2014 at 12:58 | Report abuse |
    • Wendy

      Kristi....you are completely correct. Anyone that can drink cold water and fix their headache has never had a true migraine. I have been suffering daily migraines of varying degrees for over 20 years and have tried every "remedy" that people have claimed worked, nothing ever does. I also like all the suggestions to eliminate your triggers, well what if you don't have any? At least none that can be identified. My migraines cannot be explained, and yes I have had a ct scan. I rely on meds to live as normal a life as possible. Do I enjoy taking medications daily? No. But I like laying on the floor wishing for death a lot less. And that is what a true migraine is......a pain in your head so intense that there is room for only one coherent thought. And that thought is "cut off my head." Anyone who has not had a suicidal thought of some kind has never really had a migraine.

      April 23, 2014 at 14:05 | Report abuse |
    • Kathy Tuffy

      I had migraine headaches for 10-15 days per month for about 10 years. They were very hormonal – always started with the first day of my period and then ended some number of days later. Zomig was a good drug for me, taking away the pain, but all other migraine symptoms were still there. When I hit menopause, the migraines slowly faded and now I rarely get one. When I get one now, it is because of something I ate or drank, or lack of sleep. Over the years I tried nearly every conventional and alternative treatment – food restrictions, acupuncture, progesterone cream, massage, meditation, ice packs, warm packs, and preventative drug treatment. Nothing really worked until the hormones stabilized. I have great empathy for anyone who struggles with migraine. One of the worst things about it was all the well-intentioned people who would suggest another quick fix. After trying 30 quick fixes that didn't work, I was not very receptive!

      April 24, 2014 at 12:38 | Report abuse |
    • TINE

      I so agree with a lot of you, if you have never had one then you can't even imagine what we go through daily. For years I have been on so many different meds, I have Cambia pills, Sumavel injections, toradol nasal mist, fiurocet, imatrex, Cambia powder, Phenergan, bonine, sudafed. I have had 3 cervical injections, neck surgery, sinus surgery, trigger point injections, occipital injections, hospitalized many times for them. I have tried neurotin 1800mg a day, topimax (bad side effects) lyrica, botox, I have pain patches, lots of ice packs and black out curtains. If anyone knows anything other than what I have tried and has failed I am game to try...

      April 24, 2014 at 14:42 | Report abuse |
    • skeptical

      I hear you, Kristi. I have migraine with aura, and once had a cluster headache. It is frustrating to hear people talk about their "migraines" when it is clear it's just a headache, though if they've never actually had one, I think it's easy for people to label a bad headache as a migraine.

      April 24, 2014 at 15:40 | Report abuse |
  4. guest

    Not enough research is given to the food and environmental causes of migraines. I suffered from migraines 3 days a weeks for years until I discovered that food and fragrances were the cause.

    April 23, 2014 at 11:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • laura

      Yup same here.

      April 23, 2014 at 11:54 | Report abuse |
  5. laura

    Here is an idea in regards to migraines. Find the trigger and eliminate it before automatically switching to medications. For myself, I had 10 years of sinus migraines where I felt like my left eye was going to pop out of it's socket every 2-3 weeks like clockwork. As it turns out, gluten was the cause. I removed it from my diet completely and the headaches went away.
    Gluten is in anything made from wheat, barley, rye and unless it's certified gluten free oats.
    Eating gluten free doesn't have to be expensive. Still to natural foods, and avoid anything that says contains or may contain wheat, barley or rye. Avoid anything in regards to cross contamination with gluten and you just might find it's your trigger too.

    April 23, 2014 at 11:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Esaias

    The problem with these treatments is that they are injections. What needs to be done is to discover a CGRP antagonist with oral bioavailability.

    April 23, 2014 at 12:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kathy Tuffy

      The problem with oral administration is that if the drug is a peptide (protein-based) then enzymes in the mouth, stomach, and intestines work to break it down. Or, it might be something that is not absorbed well in the gut. Sometimes the only way to get a drug where it is needed is to inject it. Believe me, the people designing and manufacturing drugs know that oral is much preferred!

      April 24, 2014 at 12:43 | Report abuse |
  7. ihadanny

    what about good old home treatment?
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xk2v6WyoHUY&w=640&h=390]

    April 23, 2014 at 12:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. svann

    I can now tell when a migraine is coming on. The symptom is similar to when you get a tune stuck in your head except moreso. Hard to describe but its much stronger. It also doesnt have to be music. Sometimes it will be a logical argument or discussion. The piece of logic plays over and over just like music.

    April 23, 2014 at 13:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jen

      svann, I get the same thing! I have never heard of another person with this one! It is usually the day before that it starts. It is so comforting to know I'm not the only one. Do you ever have trouble speaking with yours? I feel like I know what word I want to say but it just won't make it out of my mouth. Take care.

      April 23, 2014 at 20:17 | Report abuse |
    • Fiona

      That is so strange : I woke up with a pre-migraine this morning, and yesterday I had an annoying "ear worm" of a song snippet going through my head. I never made that connection before!

      April 23, 2014 at 20:43 | Report abuse |
    • Kathy Tuffy

      @Jen – when I have a migraine I have the feeling that I can't think clearly at all. This doesn't seem entirely true, because I have completed complex problems with a bad headache. But the sensation of mist or fog impeding my thoughts is quite strong. I have never noticed the earworm thing but I will pay attention in the future!

      April 24, 2014 at 12:46 | Report abuse |
  9. mary

    Where can I sign up for the trial of these drugs......however......I don't want to be an individual that receives the placebo.

    April 23, 2014 at 14:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Olivia

    MIGRAINES! Oh my! I have suffered with menstrual migraines, stress migraines, and sinus migraines. They all hurt! I was on a great medication a few years ago and it helped tremendously. Unfortunately, the med was taken off the market and it was back to square one. One neurologist wanted me to stop medication cold turkey and take nothing for the pain, because I was taking too much in one day. When I asked what I should do for the pain? The response was to keep away from sharp objects! Ha, ha! Ha, ha hell! I was infuriated! I emailed the doctor's office and said, obviously you have never suffered a HA (headache) with lots of pain, but I will definitely use those sharp objects on you if I don't get some pain meds. A script was sent to the drug store with no explanation. I too had to encounter 4 pills at a time with my insurance, taking Topamax that had me goofy, and weight gain with Amitryptiline. I was so desperate for my old medication that was taken off the market, I was asking anyone if they could get their hands on it. No such luck! Thank God my migraines has let up, but I still get some with auras. I have changed my diet (food triggers), increased water intake so I don't get dehydrated during the day. I even spoke to a friend who's in charge of seizure studies. I'm still waiting for a migraine study in my area. Best wishes to you all to find a solution to this annoying pain in the head! Signed: Frustrated Migraine Sufferer

    April 23, 2014 at 14:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Jess

    If you are a researcher, you should at least know not to call them HEADACHES.

    Migraine is a serious neurological disease. It has ruined my life.

    April 23, 2014 at 14:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jd1000

      I agree.... its one thing I can't stand are people who refer to it as a headache. There is a huge difference between the pain of a migraine vs a headache. The migraines are always one sided also.

      April 24, 2014 at 00:20 | Report abuse |
    • Laura Z

      migraines are not always one sided. I have been diagnosed with migraines and tension headaches. I get my migraines mostly right between the eyes! sometimes one side or the other but mostly between the eyes. Tension headaches are like a tight band around my head, the top of my head and the back of my neck. Also, sometimes a migraine can feel like a tension headache. don't be fooled by the standard descriptors of a migraine, some people suffer differently. I don't get nauseous, I don't get the aura, but I do get sound and light sensitivity, my body aches, I can't eat etc

      April 28, 2014 at 13:11 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Hearin' ya on that, Jess.

      August 15, 2014 at 11:44 | Report abuse |
  12. Tony

    My wife gets a headache at 9:59 every night, hopefully this will cure that.

    April 23, 2014 at 14:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Fiona

      Maybe you should try showering and brushing your teeth before bed. And no being such a d**k.

      April 23, 2014 at 20:36 | Report abuse |
    • Deb

      Fiona,

      maybe you should stop being a b***h and maybe you could land a man.

      April 24, 2014 at 16:50 | Report abuse |
  13. Abby

    Migraine is a serious, life-changing, debilitating condition. I experienced my first at age 32, and until then, never fully understood the seriousness of this condition.

    During my first attack, I thought that I was having a stroke. I couldn't speak, walk, or understand language. I also couldn't figure out the phone...days later, when I was able to piece together events, I recalled my attempt to call 911 and noted that my phone had made 6 outgoing calls to random strings of numbers. The pain, when it finally hit, was unfathomable. It's not like a broken bone, where pain is limited by clear physical boundaries. It feels as though the brain has no limit for the amount of pain it can create for itself when it is misfiring so tremendously as in a migraine.

    The severity and frequency of migraines have intruded on all areas of my life: my work, my marriage, and at times, my own desire to live. It's been a terrific battle, and most current preventative medications have failed completely. Topomax was, by far, the worst. Botox happened to work better for me than most, but still isn't a cure by any means. And, like most who suffer from migraines, I've taken all diet, exercise, and common 'trigger avoidance' precautions. (That includes not touching a drop of caffeine...chocolate included!). As others have stated, treatment is not simple, and is not one-size-fits-all.

    To all of those who devote their lives to researching or treating migraines, thank you. We need you. To all of those who are afflicted with them, and to their families, stay strong.

    April 23, 2014 at 15:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Timmy Suckle

    I kissed my way up to CEO at a health insurance company. Now I take over $1,000,000 of your health care dollars for NO VALUE ADDED to your health care. And that’s just me. Now think about how many other CEOs, VPs, Directors, Managers, etc. are at my company alone. Now multiply that by thousands of others at hundreds of other health insurance companies. From 10 to 25% of your health care dollars go towards administration that adds NO VALUE to your health care. But my company’s PAC dollars will continue to fool you little people into thinking that a single payer system will be bad. Little people like you are so easy to fool. Little people also don’t realize that a single payer system is the ONLY system that would allow little people (as an entire country) to negotiate better health care prices. Little people don’t realize that the Medical Cartels already know that. And that is the reason why the Medical Cartels spend so much PAC money from the hospitals and doctors lobbying against a single payer system. Some little people say that a single payer system would cost you little people more. But if that were true, then wouldn’t the hospitals and doctors WANT that extra money? Yes they would. So why do the Medical Cartels lobby against a single payer system? It’s because the Medical Cartels know it would allow little people to negotiate better health care prices. And that’s what the Medical Cartels are afraid of. Period.
    But us big wigs at insurance companies, hospitals, and pharmacy companies don’t ever need to worry about health care no matter what it costs. We get our health care paid for one way or another by you little people. And we get the little people that work at our companies to contribute to our PACs. And us big wigs say it’s to protect the little peoples’ jobs. But in reality it would be in the little peoples’ best interest to NOT contribute to the PAC. Again, little people are so easily fooled. I won’t ever have to worry about losing my job with so many little people being brain washed by the Medical Cartels’ PAC money. Not only that, the Medical Cartels’ PAC money is used to elect so many republicans that will never allow a single payer system. Republicans have always fought against any meaningful health care reform. But that’s what our Medical Cartels’ PACs pay them for. Politicians can be bought so easily.
    Pretty soon the only people that will be able to afford health care is us big wigs. And that’s the way it should be. We don’t want you little people using up the resources when we need them. And once again, I thank you little people for capping my SS tax at the $117,000 level. Now I only pay 1.17% SS tax and you little people pay 6.2%. Also, thank you for extending my tax breaks. I’m using the extra money on my vacation houses.

    April 23, 2014 at 16:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Eeyore

      Get a life, dude. You're boring.

      April 23, 2014 at 16:16 | Report abuse |
    • boring

      Boring but "spot on".

      April 23, 2014 at 18:57 | Report abuse |
    • Fiona

      You have a vivid fantasy life. At least you have that.

      April 23, 2014 at 19:10 | Report abuse |
    • Eeyore

      Troll harder, honey. You are pathetic.

      April 23, 2014 at 19:27 | Report abuse |
    • Eeyore

      @boring: How many screen names are you going to use, dear? You already outed yourself as Timmy Suckle on another thread, posting under the screen name "Some." Do you think you're fooling anyone? What a dorcus.

      April 23, 2014 at 19:31 | Report abuse |
    • Not One

      But not one of you can debate the fact that the medical cartels spend Billions to keep you brain washed. If a single payer system would cost you MORE, then wouldn't the medical cartels WANT the extra money??? Think before you spout.

      April 24, 2014 at 08:40 | Report abuse |
  15. Kathy Willard

    I was 11 when I had my first migraine. Auras, dizziness,vomiting, light sensitivity and pain, pain, pain. I have hurt so much I have knocked my head into walls and have hit myself in the head. Until I was 30, I was told I was "too tense and nervous."
    Finally, several standard things were tried, none worked. The only thing that helps is Midrin taken at onset. It shortens three day ordeals down to one, usually. Now, I get them when I relax! I feel it start, like lukewarm water spilling down from the top of my head, then comes the aura and the rest. I am scared to have fun or relax because – here it comes. It ruins vacations. Hope they get that ALD403 on the market soon. Oh, by the way, I am 62 now. That is a lot of suffering....and no, drinking, water, etc. does not help! Please, we really need a cure......

    April 23, 2014 at 16:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Fiona

      Kathy, I can sympathize. So many years of life lost to pain. The "drinking water " thing reminds me of the response I got from a supposed friend, when I told her that I could not commit to an upcoming event because I had been having an almost constant migraine cycle (three migraines a week, so always getting one or getting over one) for more than a year. She told me I might be dehydrated, and should drink more water.

      People have no clue, really.

      April 23, 2014 at 19:16 | Report abuse |
    • l. scott

      I get migraines from relaxing too. I recognize the lukewarm water experience and it is so hard to plan and have a life. You speak well.

      April 24, 2014 at 19:24 | Report abuse |
  16. Fiona

    I have suffered from complicated migraine (with aura) since childhood, and I am now in my late fifties. I believe that migraine pain has gotten so little attention because it affects more women than men. I went through many years of having doctors be insultingly dismissive of my symptoms, and I never really got a serious medical evaluation until I was nearly 50 - from an older, male neurologist who happened to be a migraineur.himself. I tried Topomax, which stopped the headaches but had horrendous side effects. I went through various off-label scripts for SRI and epilepsy drugs, but all of them had too many unacceptable side effects. So now I rely on a triptan med when I get a migraine, which is ridiculous. These headaches have made it impossible for me to plan ahead for much of my life. I never know whether I will be functional, or down with a headache. We migraineur a are past due for a real treatment that can help us lead normal lives.

    April 23, 2014 at 19:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Penguin

    I used to get migraines . But in 2000 I was in an accident where a 5ton roll of steel rolled over my car. I was hospitalized for 2 weeks and couldn't lay flat on my back without getting dizzy for over 2months. I haven't had a migraine since.

    April 23, 2014 at 22:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • l. scott

      That is very interesting.

      April 25, 2014 at 15:44 | Report abuse |
  18. jd1000

    The only interesting stat is the 16% who didn't get migraines after 12 weeks. The other stats are meaningless. Also if its a cancer drug, I'd be willing to bet there are high side effects.

    April 24, 2014 at 00:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. jd1000

    Even a few migraines a month is enough to keep you from holding a job. All jobs that I know of limit how many days you can be sick or you get fired.

    April 24, 2014 at 00:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sherry

      You made a very good point–not enough attention is paid to how hard is for migraneurs to maintain employment, which should be a serious issue that needs to be addressed. Inabilty to hold down jobs seems to be the case with many sufferers , yet it is not taken seriously by the general public–it's why we need more effort put into research for preventative treatments that actually work!

      April 24, 2014 at 08:27 | Report abuse |
    • l. scott

      When I have my period coming I want to sleep for three days either before or before and during the first couple of days. I also get period migraines. I don't know if the sleepiness happens for all women before their periods or if it is related to the migraines. Sometimes I get very tired and confused and have memory loss and think a migraine is coming at other times and then it blows over.

      April 24, 2014 at 19:31 | Report abuse |
    • l. scott

      What I was trying to say, was I think sometimes the sleepiness comes as a result of a migraine that doesn't fully form. I always wished I could stay home and sleep and make up for it at another time. I would be much more productive if I could live by my own natural rhythm.

      April 24, 2014 at 19:35 | Report abuse |
  20. Kathy

    I thought I was about to brag about how I cured my migrains on a you tube video. But ,hello I woke with a migrain today! I have taken a Triptan and a Naproxen so far this morning that is why I can write this!

    Although I am pretty sure my migrain trigger is hormonal imbalance, that is not the whole story.

    So far I have tried migrain support treatment tablets to no avail, menopace, starflower oil, high grade fish oils, maca powder,flaxseed oils, a no sugar, flour, bread, alcohol or caffeine diet. I also lie in a magnesium sulphate bath three times a week. The latest thing I have tried is USP micronised progesterone gel. NONE of the above has cured my migrains!

    However, for the first time in nearly three years I have just had 23 successive days without a migrain so I am very pleased with myself! I believe that success story is down to the progesterone gel. Yet , I cannot give up any of the above as I have become use to taking it all. I did relapse on the sugar bit and had some Easter egg!

    I have just read about a new injection which they hope will prevent migrains from happening, but will not be available for another three years. They say migrains are caused by a protein gene peptide abnormality. In other words, migrains are a genetic abnormality and cannot be eliminated by drinking cold water or standing under a cold shower or eating cold apples etc!!

    Good luck fellow migrain sufferers!!!

    April 24, 2014 at 04:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. LMP

    Botox has been AMAZING for me!! I have had migraines for 36 years. I have tried nearly every preventative out, and my neurologist said that my options are limited. I am currently still taking 50 mg of Topamax daily. I started getting Botox injections on December 31, 2013, and I got my second round at the end of March 2014. I have gone from 18 migraines per month down to an average of four migraines per month. This month I have only had one migraine (knock on wood). Botox has given me my life back!! I have to have a lot of injections – more than is recommended – I have 41 injections – I have great insurance – it pays all but $300 for the injections. I just hope it continues to work for me as well as it is now!

    April 24, 2014 at 04:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. beatingtohisdrum

    I got my first migraine when I was 12 years old and thought I had a brain tumor – I couldn't understand what was going on. I'm now 35 years old and I still get them. There is a HUGE difference between a headache vs. a migraine. I tried everything – seriously – EVERYTHING. The latest was the Botox and although I only received the first round of treatment I don't think I'm going to return for the second round. Three days after the injections I had one of the WORST migraines I've had in YEARS... WORST. I felt like crawling in a hole and pulling rocks in behind me.
    I'm willing to try whatever they come out with. I think it's great that a person can drink a cold glass of water to get rid of a headache or take a cold shower and get rid of a headache – but again I believe what they are suffering from is a headache... not a migraine. A migraine is debilitating, you can't function, it's hard to care for a child when you have a migraine... I wish you all the best because I feel your pain... I feel your pain several days a week...

    April 24, 2014 at 10:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. jkw2590

    The worst is yet to come. I've had migraines since I was 4, auras since my 20s. I am 65. I never had speech difficulties or drooling or numbness on one side until 2 weeks ago. The MRI showed I had had a stroke. Fortunately it was mild. No lasting effects. My heart checked out ok and my carotids have very little plaque so the Dr. thinks it is the migraines. We migraineuers (sp?) are at increased risk for stroke but we don;t think it can happen to us. It can. Now every headache scares me to death. My wife won't leave me alone in the house. The more migraines you can prevent with blood pressure medication and others the better off you will be. My niece the doctor tells me she has great success with a calcium channel blocker amlodipine with her patients. watch your blood pressure and cholesterol and weight. These are also risk factors for stroke. Take the statins; don't resist like I did. And at the first symptoms of a stroke, call 911; they can treat you on the way to the ER. Don't have someone take you.

    April 24, 2014 at 13:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • l. scott

      Stroke is the biggest fear for me and I am not overweight, but could always go slimmer. Thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge. I have low blood pressure so that is good, but I really fear that i will get a stroke one day from this. I do have the auras, drooling, speech difficulties, numbness sometimes with migraine, and sometimes wonder if I am having tiny mini strokes. Especially when I get a sudden, very painful, flashing pain spot on/in a small area of my head somewhere. I have to watch where my concentration goes when that happens and redirect, which is sometimes hard. I try to step above the experience. I cannot believe migraines and headaches also, don't change the brain or have an impact on long-term health, unfortunately. The pain seems to have been drilling a pathway through my brain for years, and does affect thinking. Although we all seem to be well-spoken on here. I have a good diet and aim to stay healthy. Years ago I had an amazing experience with a man named Sheel Tangri, who is now located in Costa Rica. He did muscle testing and massage, chiropractic and could touch me so gently and yet, cause all kinds of liquids to seemingly gush through my body. I ended up feeling very loved and like all these things in my body that had not been working properly; were seized up, liquids pooling where they shouldn't – were released, I felt flowing and I felt so healthy and did not get migraines again for half a year. I believe it would have lasted longer but the birth of my child was hard on my body and I got massive migraines again. I actually went to see him because the migraines were so bad during my pregnancy. I would love to see him again. I have not found anyone like him, even if they claimed to do what he did or to know him. Also, I feel very sorry for the elderly in seniors' homes who do not have soft pillows, and massage and medical care when they have migraines. i knew a lovely old man who almost always seemed to have a migraine. He and his wife were both in care, and both lovely, but she was further gone than him and could sometimes be a bother when he was in pain, however, he still always called her, "My little chickadee," like my Grandpa did my Grandma. I used to lean over and give him a little kiss and that tiny distraction used to comfort him just a llittle blip. He just rested in quiet as best he could, but I know the pain was almost unbearable.

      April 25, 2014 at 16:20 | Report abuse |
  24. SLA28

    I use Axert and it works wonders...on me, at least. One pill and boom, it's gone. Worst case, I have to take 2nd pill 2 hours after the first. Never fails (except 1 time in 14 years). Imitrex sometimes worked, sometimes didn't, and side effects weren't great. I forget what I was on before that, but I had to OD every time to make it work (which it didn't always do) - primary care physician didn't seem to think that was a big deal, but then again, he didn't seem to believe I had migraines either (he said I just needed to relax - how many times have we all heard that one!) Who would lie about something like this? I also have to avoid caffeine (unless I have a migraine, if I take an Axert with a caffeinated soda it helps faster), alcohol and nitrites. I can have a drink every now and then, but no more than that. I can eat a sandwich made of lunchmeat once or twice, but then I'd better avoid it for weeks. I can't drink wine at all. You just have to figure out what works for you. I had Botox once, and that helped break the cycle I was in at the time, but I haven't found them necessary since. I tried a epilepsy drug once to help minimize the # I get, and I was one of the "rare side effect" people - I took it for two days and told the Dr. to forget it, never again. I'd rather have a migraine than those side effects, so you know how bad they must have been!
    You know what helped the most? Losing weight. I wasn't hugely overweight but I dropped 20 pounds for entirely different reasons and my incidence of migraine has been cut by about 75%, no joke. I didn't know they were connected but for me they are. Great motivation to watch what I eat!

    April 24, 2014 at 16:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Laura Z

      I use Axert as well and it does get rid of the migraine at the time and I'm on topamax which I really don't think is helping. I've tried alot of different medications and therapies and have yet to find my wonder drug or therapy that helps to miracles!
      I do go to a great acupunctruist and I will say that if it wasn't for her I'd still be suffering 100% worse than I am today. When I started seeing her a few yrs ago I would take an entire month off work because of the pain, no amount of drugs would help, head packed in ice! it was brutal! she has definitely helped! but I know that there is something going on inside my body and I want to know what it is? I've seen specialist, had MRI's and cat scans' and they're always negative which is great! But at the same time you want to know the why? right?
      I've tried herbal supplements as well and a good one is magnesium bis-glysinate 400 mg 2x a day with B2.
      anyone else have any suggestions? I'm always looking for something.

      April 28, 2014 at 12:02 | Report abuse |
  25. Kathy Willard

    One trigger I have learned is sodium citrate in anything, instant migraine.

    April 24, 2014 at 19:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. maria irene andrade meira

    I like to know if these new treatements are good for cluster headaches or if you know something new

    April 25, 2014 at 10:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Robert

    I have been suffering from debilitating migraines for the last 14 years. This all came about after a car accident. I have tried EVERYTHING out there except these so called new drugs coming out. Nothing works! I have seen up to 7 specialists and they all told me that they would definitely cure the pain or improve my pain. After months of trying this and that they ended up eating there words about helping me. Final words are always the same: unfortunately you(me) suffer from really debilitating migraines. Sorry. I was forced to retire and get on disability because of this.
    What works for some may not work for others.

    April 26, 2014 at 08:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Robert

    My migraines never go away. I wake up with them(that's if I even get any sleep)and I go to bed with them. Constant pain 24 hours a day.

    April 26, 2014 at 08:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Laura Z

      I feel your pain Robert, lately I've been having migraines daily and unfortuantley the only way I can function is to take the axert. I know i'm taking too many but I don't have a choice. just started a new job and I need to make a good impression. I didn't wake up this morning with it but it started to build on my drive in. It's the worst feeling in the world and no one knows this unless they suffer like we do. I hate that I can't make plans with family and friends, I miss the person I used to be. I've suffered for a long time but within that time I had years without migraines. The difference I think between then and now was a more active, healthier lifestyle and the I herniated a disc in my back and had to have surgery, then the headaches and migraines started. I told my surgeon about them and he said they weren't related!! really?? so the hunt started for a cure or something! that was 2005. it's a struggle, its depressing and all consuming and I hate it! but I keep hoping for something that will work!

      April 28, 2014 at 13:27 | Report abuse |
  29. Sarah

    I've had migraines since puberty, and it took me years to get them somewhat under control. For me, I had to learn to avoid triggers – perfumes, getting overly excited or relaxed (I'd often get them after an exam or on a Friday), sleeping too late, wine. My aura actually is actually a mild aphasia along with an emotion I can't quite describe, which I didn't recognize at first, but now that I know what it is I can take the meds right away to nip it in the bud. This has helped me tremendously. Before, I'd lose DAYS of my life in a row, crying and vomiting in the dark. It is not fun. Recently, I started getting episodes of ataxia, dizziness, and aphasia (without headache). I thought I had a brain tumor or MS or something and had a full work up by my neurologist. Guess what it was? Atypical basilar migraines. There is so much unknown about migraines, I really welcome new research.

    April 29, 2014 at 10:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. carlalundgren.wordpress.com

    Reblogged this on Daydream for Change.

    May 17, 2014 at 13:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Yvie

    Gone on to this forum as it is my third day of waking with migraine (this week) and I don't feel able to cope today, very tearful. Have seen a neurologist this week after having an episode of right sided numb patches on arm and leg. Gp sent me for MRI which has shown white lesions, de-myelination and white flare in brain. Still to have a lumbar puncture and blood tests to rule out MS but neurologist thinks it is to do with migraine. Started at age 33 am now 55 and have an average of 12 migraine per month, have tried most of the things others have mentioned but the only thing that works 99 per cent of the time is Imigran. I hate using medication so frequently but as someone else mentioned having the migraines without treatment would lead me to consider suicide. Although Sumatriptan limits the pain I still have the nausea, depression, foggy minded-ness and feeling of being unwell for a day or two afterwards. Migraine is a poorly understood condition which takes many forms and is debilitating whichever form it takes (it has changed in character but not in severity throughout the years), it makes me depressed and unable to lead the fulfilling life I feel I could have. Days without migraine are great and after a couple I start to feel normal and happy then boom..I find a lot of people, partner included, don't understand how bad it is. My mother, sister and brother-in -law are also sufferers so at least some people close to me "get it". My boss has been great but I feel dread all the time wondering about my future employment with so much sick time .I feel for everyone who has posted on here and hope and pray that someday soon we will have an effective preventative so we don't all have to sit and dread a stroke! ,

    August 6, 2014 at 01:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. tired

    I have suffered with migraines for over 20 years. I have spent days on the washroom floor from vomiting so much my husband had to carry me to the ER. I plan every vacation, special event, etc around when I feel a migraine may happen (hormonal migraines). I have had many ER visits to get hooked up to an IV which many times is the only option I have to take the pain away. I have medications upon medications to prevent and stop the pain...non work. Thank goodnes my employer is undetstanding of my condition and understands my sick time. I stumbled upen this article hoping that there maybe a new drug on its way to help with migraines. Nice to see there is some hope. I too get very frustrated when people with bad headaches claim they have migraines. If you can drive and/orbe on a computer..its not a migraine! Anyway...i am hoping that one of these medications becomes available. After 20 years I am done with them!

    September 11, 2014 at 13:45 | Report abuse | Reply

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.