Two new studies—focusing on different approaches for targeting CGRP in migraine—were presented at the American Headache Society 58th Annual Scientific Meeting. The new class of drugs currently under development have been causing excitement because of their effectiveness in treating chronic migraine. These agents reduce the levels of a protein known as calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), which plays a role in the initiation, transmission, and sensitivity to migraine pain.

SRLast month, the private company StimRelieve, LLC, received approval from the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct a clinical trial of a stimulation device to treat chronic migraine. Called the StimRelieve Halo Migraine System, it is implanted under the skin and uses wireless neurostimulators to treat chronic migraine—migraine 15 or more days per month—that has not responded to other treatment.

Individuals with asthma who also experience episodic or occasional migraine may be more likely to develop chronic migraine, according to a National Headache Foundation-sponsored study recently published online in the journal Headache. “If you have asthma along with episodic or occasional migraine, then your headaches are more likely to evolve into a more disabling form known as chronic migraine,” said Vincent Martin, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Cincinnati’s (UC) Division of General Internal Medicine, co-director of the Headache and Facial Pain Program at the UC Neuroscience Institute and lead author in the study. Dr. Martin is also Vice President of the National Headache Foundation.

Individuals with asthma who also experience episodic or occasional migraine may be more likely to develop chronic migraine, according to a National Headache Foundation-sponsored study, recently published online in the journal Headache. “If you have asthma along with episodic or occasional migraine, then your headaches are more likely to evolve into a more disabling form known as chronic migraine,” said Vincent Martin, MD, professor of medicine in UC’s Division of General Internal Medicine, co-director of the Headache and Facial Pain Program at the UC Neuroscience Institute and lead author in the study. Dr. Martin is Vice President of the National Headache Foundation.

Quality communication is critical between patients and health care professionals, but a new study has found that it often falls short between patients with chronic migraine and their physicians. This situation leads to suboptimal treatment, according to a new study that included 20 neurologists from around the country.

Researchers have developed a new screening tool to help identify chronic migraine in individuals experiencing frequent headaches. Over a 3-year period, Dawn Buse, PhD, and colleagues developed a 12-item questionnaire that both patients and physicians can use to improve diagnosis and treatment of chronic migraine, which is underdiagnosed and undertreated.  It includes questions regarding symptoms, headache frequency, disability, and medication usage.

Patients with chronic migraine are often hypersensitive to stimuli, including light, sound, and odors. In fact, some researchers believe the aversion to odors, osmophobia, is particularly helpful in a differentiating migraine from other headache disorders. Now, new research suggests that patients with chronic migraine (CM) do not experience a significant change in their sense of smell between migrainous and non-migrainous periods, but they appear more likely to have an abnormal sense of smell at baseline compared to their peers who do not experience migraine.

Nausea frequently accompanies migraine, but until recently little has been known how it may affect the progression of the disorder. Now, researchers say, a large study has shown that compared to migraineurs who experience little or no nausea, migraineurs with frequent, persistent nausea were twice as likely to progress from experiencing episodic migraine (migraine less than 15 days per month) to having chronic migraine (migraine 15 or more days per month).

Two Kansas City ophthalmologists report on an inexpensive, effective way to treat migraine: widely available beta blocker eye drops, usually used to treat glaucoma. In the course of their research, Carl V. Migliazzo, MD, and John C. Hagan, III, MD, worked with 7 female patients who used the eye drops at the first sign of migraine symptoms. The subjects used this treatment over a multi-year period, and the patients reported nearly complete pain relief with the drops and few side effects.

In a small recent study at Massachusetts General Hospital, a controversial surgical procedure for migraine treatment provided significant benefit for patients. Thirty-five patients with chronic migraine who had not been helped by preventive medications were selected for the surgery, which proponents say deactivates migraine trigger sites. Each of the patients  had a history of nerve compression headaches and had experienced relief previously with Botox or nerve blocks. The surgeon released frontal, temporal, and occipital migraine headache trigger points, totaling 43 procedures on the 35 patients.