7 Things You Need to Know About CGRP

7 Things You Need to Know About CGRP

Why all the buzz about CGRP?

You’ve probably noticed that headache centers, community forums, and healthcare practitioners have all been talking about CGRP lately. Here at The Headache Center, we’re thrilled that new treatments specifically targeting CGRP are starting to make their way to the market. We’ve even created an entire category on our Headache Treatments section just for CGRP. So you’re probably wondering by now, “what’s all the buzz about?”

Researchers continue to uncover intriguing details about migraine.

CGRP is known to play a major role in migraine attacks. For headache sufferers, understanding the role that CGRP plays and the process of migraine attacks in general can be both encouraging and empowering.

To that end, Lilly USA has allowed The Headache Center to share the following video that they produced. It details the exact process of a migraine attack—including the changes in CGRP throughout the process—and we hope you will find it helpful!

After the video, continue reading to learn the 7 Things You Need to Know About CGRP!

Video content provided by Lilly USA.

1. What is CGRP?

CGRP is a very potent cerebral vasodilator. It is distributed widely throughout the peripheral and central nervous system.

2. What does CGRP have to do with Migraine?

Researchers have been studying CGRP, a neuropeptide belonging to the calcitonin family, for 30 years to examine the role it plays in migraine. Research has shown that CGRP is present at all migraine pathogenesis sites. Experimentations with infusions of CGRP have been shown to trigger a migraine in migraine sufferers, but not in human controls without migraine.

3. What happens to CGRP levels during a migraine attack?

  • During an acute migraine attack, CGRP levels increase.
  • After a migraine attack has been successfully treated, CGRP levels return to normal.

4. How do we currently treat migraine?

Many migraine and cluster headache patients are surprised to learn that there has never been a drug developed specifically for the prevention of migraine or cluster headache.

The drugs currently in use to prevent migraine and cluster were initially created to treat other conditions. It was only after these drugs had been developed and marketed for those other conditions that they were then found to be beneficial in the treatment of headache disorders as well.

A variety of preventive and acute treatments for migraine are available, but they come with a number of issues and problems. Not all patients find them to be effective to the same degree, or even effective at all. Some patients experience negative side effects that outweigh the benefit of the treatment, while others are restricted from taking them due to concurrent medical conditions.

5. Can we treat migraine by targeting CGRP?

There is currently no preventive treatment available that specifically targets CGRP, but that is about to change.

Drugs blocking the effects of CGRP have been studied over a decade for the treatment of migraine and cluster headache disorders. Most recently, four different companies have been studying drugs that could prevent migraine or cluster headache by antagonizing the effects of CGRP in the body, while two other companies have been studying drugs with anti-CGRP effects intended to terminate migraine attacks once they begin.

This research has been conducted through large, multi-center, double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials, and these drugs are being studied on patients with both episodic and chronic migraine (with and without aura) and chronic cluster headache.

6. When will these CGRP-targeting treatments be available?

All of the companies currently studying these anti-CGRP drugs have demonstrated a positive efficacy, safety and tolerability profile. This is excellent news for headache sufferers, because it shows a considerable potential improvement over currently-available treatment methods.

The first anti-CGRP prevention drug is expected to be released in May of 2018. The others are expected to be released in 2018 or 2019. They should be available at headache centers across the United States, including The Headache Center.

7. How do I find out if these new CGRP-targeting treatments may be able to help me?

While these treatments are not yet available, we expect them to come to market very soon. If you suffer from migraine, cluster headache, or another headache disorder, now is the time to be evaluated to see if these therapies might be right for you.

To see if you qualify for treatment with one of these new drug therapies or are eligible for a clinical trial involving CGRP, send us a message or call (601) 366-0855 to schedule an appointment.

No prescriptions can be given until a thorough medical history and exam are performed in order to obtain an accurate diagnosis. The Headache Center is the only place in Mississippi to find dedicated specialists devoted to treating headache disorders. No referrals are necessary. We are in-network for many major insurance carriers, including Medicare and Medicaid, and we also provide services for cash and credit payments without insurance coverage.

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