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The end of migraines ? A revolutionary discovery from the University of Rochester

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According to this editorial in the journal Journal of Headache and Pain published in 2020, headaches and particularly remain a major cause of # 8217;disability worldwide. This problem affects almost half of the world's population, so we are facing a very important public health issue. Migraine, as a multifactorial disease, is both difficult to diagnose and complex to treat since it is not yet fully understood what causes it . The development of treatments is therefore also just as delicate.

However, recent work carried out by scientists at the University of Rochester (New York) suggests a glimmer of hope for those affected. These were published on July 4 in the journal Science.

Auras: triggers migraine pain

This team has therefore elucidated one of the greatest mysteries surrounding migraines: the enigmatic role auras. These sensory manifestations, characterized by flashes of light or scotomas (blind spots present in the visual field), precede approximately a quarter of migraine episodes. Until then, their correlation with migraines remained obscure.

The work carried out by these scientists, supervised by Maiken Nedergaard (lead author and co-director of the Center for Translational Neuromedicine at the University of Rochester), shed light on a phenomenon that had not been observed until now. 8217;then. These auras induce movements of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) bathing the brain. This agitation releases certain proteins which, by interacting with the nerves, then trigger pain.

Nedegaard explains&amp ;nbsp;: “ In this study, we describe how increased concentrations of proteins released in the brain during an episode of propagated depolarization, phenomenon at the origin of the aura of migraines, causes an interaction between the central and peripheral nervous system […] These findings provide new targets for suppressing sensory nerve activation, thereby preventing and treating migraines while enhancing existing therapies “.

A new avenue for the treatment of migraines

These discoveries open up new therapeutic perspectives. The proteins released during auras, carried by the CSF to the trigeminal ganglion (cluster of nerves at the base of the skull), therefore prove to be the instigators of the pain. This region, long considered impermeable to brain chemical interactions, turns out to be a neuralgic point in the genesis of migraines.

The researchers identified twelve ligand proteins that bind to nerve receptors, the concentration of which doubles after an aura. Among them is CGRP (peptide linked to the calcitonin gene, a protein involved in the transmission of pain and the regulation of blood vessels), already targeted by new generation treatments. These CGRP inhibitors suggest considerable potential in the prevention and treatment of migraines.

These treatments would therefore target the cause of the migraine and not the symptoms as usual treatments do. This would prevent the proteins that trigger pain from doing their job, which could prevent migraines before they start. All we have to do is wait for the development of this treatment and clinical trials to find out if it will be safe and effective for patients.

  • A new study has shed light on the role of auras in triggering migraines.
  • Twelve proteins have been identified as triggers, and thus offer new treatment possibilities.
  • These would target the cause of migraines and not just the symptoms.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116