Revolutionary migraine drug trial slated for Leiden hospital

Migraine (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Sasha Wolff). ((Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Sasha Wolff))

This summer the Leiden University Medical Center is starting a large scale study on a new revolutionary drug that may reduce the number of migraines by 50 percent, AD reports.

The Leiden study will include 600 patients. Two smaller studies in the United states have given hopeful results. On average, a monthly injection with the new anti-CGRP drug can half a patient's migraine attacks. A far better result than the current medicines to prevent migraines achieve, according to neurologist Michel Ferrari at the LUMC.

At this time, people suffering from milder forms of migraine take medication only when they feel an attack coming. Patients who suffer from two or more migraines per month often swallow pills on a daily basis to prevent an attack. "The medicines are not made for migraines, but high blood pressure, heart problems or epilepsy." Ferrari said to AD. "We do not exactly know how they prevent migraine."

Advantages of the new anti-CGRP drug includes the fact that researchers actually know how it works. "CGRP is a protein that causes cranial nerves to perceive headaches. The new drugs exclude that protein and thus prevent the brain from registering pain. It also works against cluster headaches, which we currently have almost no cure for." Ferrari said. Another advantage is that the new medication is a monthly injection, instead of daily pills. The injections also do not seem to have any major side effects.