Individuals with migraine may be at an increased risk for heart attacks, strokes, blood clots, and irregular heart rates, according to a recent study. Although the connection of migraine to the risk of heart problems is strongest in the first year after diagnosis, it can last for as long as 20 years. “Accumulating evidence supports that migraine should be considered as an important risk factor for most cardiovascular diseases in both men and women,” lead researcher Kasper Adelborg, MD told HealthDay.

By Dr. James Banks, National Headache Foundation Board Member This is the second part of a series related to CGRP. In the first part of the series, Dr. James Banks looks at the basics of CGRP and how it works.

Where are CGRP agents currently in the trial process and what are the early results?

The four companies with the most advanced research on the CGRP antagonists are, in alphabetical order, Alder, Amgen, Eli Lilly, and Teva. Amgen (in conjunction with Novartis) is currently involved in research on an oral CGRP antagonist. At www.headaches.org and www.clinicaltrials.gov, you’ll find a listing of where, who and what is being studied.

Now is your chance to be part of the migraine education program that will address your needs. The See Migraine Differently initiative, sponsored by Promius Pharma, will include:
  • a live presentation from well-known neurologist, Dr. Michelle Ferreira
  • an opportunity to have your questions about migraine answered
  • registration that is free
  • lunch to be provided

By Dr. James Banks, National Headache Foundation Board Member

What is CGRP?

First, some background: CGRP is the abbreviation for Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide, a protein in the brain and nervous system involved in the transmission of pain and the resultant reaction of tissues and blood vessels. The new medications you are hearing about are actually monoclonal antibodies to either the CGRP itself or the receptors where CGRP lands.  There are various forms of CGRP in different parts of the body. They all have very different actions. These new drugs are very specific for the nerves and blood vessels involved in migraine.

A study looking to determine the frequency of emergency department revisits in New York City found that many patients with migraine frequently return within a 6-month period. The results were published in the November edition of Headache. Migraine leads to more than 1.2 million visits to emergency departments in the United States annually. The authors analyzed 18 emergency departments in New York City in search of the frequency of revisits, as well as sociodemographic factors.