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Migraine: new therapies for patients


Far from being a simple headache, migraine is a debilitating chronic neurological disease that affects the quality of life in all its aspects. A daily handicap for many patients, not relieved or only partially by current treatments.

“Migraine is a primary neurovascular headache whose basis is genetic.

About 40% of patients have a family history of migraine”

, informs Dr. Michel Lantéri-Minet, neurologist and head of the pain department at the University Hospital of Nice.

This is a severe and intense headache which presents with accompanying signs, in particular digestive (nausea followed or not by vomiting), or intolerance to noise and light, or both at the same time, and which repeats itself more or less regularly.

Are concerned

"20% of the adult population, with a very high female predominance after puberty: three or four women for one man



, informs the specialist, who specifies:

“What defines the disease is the repetition of attacks.


A disabling disease

Due to the frequency of these attacks (two per month or more for 50% of patients), their duration (more than twenty-four hours for some of them) and their intensity (severe or very severe for 48 to 74% of patients), migraine has a strong impact on the professional and social life of those who suffer from it (2).

Thus, a migraine sufferer loses on average more than eleven working days per year.

Other effects include sleep disturbances, depression or anxiety (3) (4).

Migraine therefore has a strong impact on personal and family life.

A survey carried out by the association La Voix des migraineux on the occasion of the European Day of

new classes of drugs

Currently, this condition is treated with drugs – specific or not – for attacks (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, triptans, etc.) and disease-modifying treatments that are not specific for migraine.

Prescribed as a preventive measure, their objective is to reduce the frequency and severity of painful episodes: certain beta-blockers, certain antidepressants, certain antiepileptics, serotonin receptor antagonists, calcium channel blockers.

“A certain number of migraine sufferers do not respond well to disease-modifying treatments.

This can be explained by the fact that current treatments are not specific.

In addition, they can cause adverse effects that affect quality of life: sedative and depressiogenic effects, weight gain,

, informs Dr. Lantéri-Minet, which, he underlines, leads in 20 to 40% of cases to a discontinuation of background treatment because of side effects. For these patients who are not relieved or bothered by the collateral disorders of these treatments, new classes of drugs are now available and target the physiopathological mechanisms of migraine.

The first family of drugs is represented by monoclonal antibodies antagonistic to

calcitonin gene-related peptide

(CGRP) or its receptor.

"These treatments are the result of thirty years of research

," says the neurologist. Scientific observations indicate that CGRP, a neuromediator peptide, plays a role in migraine. It promotes meningeal blood vessel dilation and inflammation and plays a key role in pain transmission. Clinical studies show the effectiveness of these new therapies in people with rebellious migraine.

Since July 2021, botulinum toxin type A has had a marketing authorization extension and can be offered to patients for the prevention of chronic migraine.

(1-2) Lantéri-Minet Michel et al., Diagnostic and therapeutic management of migraine in adults and children.

Neurological Review, 2013, no 169, p.


(3) Lucas Christian et al., Recognition and Therapeutic Management of Migraine in 2004, in France: Results of FRAMIG 3, a French Nationwide Population-Based Survey.

Headache, 2006, vol.

46, p.


(4) Paris Nicolas et al., A descriptive analysis of the burden of migraine based on self-reported migraine diary data using the Migraine Buddy application in Europe.

Poster EP3080.

3rd Congress of the European Academy of Neurology, Amsterdam, June 24-27, 2017.

(5) Survey impact of severe and chronic migraine.

The Voice of Migraineurs, March 2020.

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Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2022-01-25

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