By Annette Pinder
For those who suffer from headaches and migraines, feeling debilitated and having to frequently cancel plans is not uncommon. Sadly, many people with migraines suffer for years, relentlessly searching for relief. However, right here in our own backyard, DENT Neurologic Institute has been at the forefront of national research that is now bringing significant relief to these patients.
Laszlo Mechtler, MD, FAAN, Medical Director of Dent Neurologic Institute, and Director of the DENT Headache, Neuro-Oncology Center, and Cannabis Clinic is thrilled about the positive results he is seeing in his patients receiving new FDA approved CGRP and monoclonal antibody medications at the DENT Headache Center.
“CGRP medications work by blocking a protein called calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) which has been studied for more than 25 years, and thought to cause chronic and episodic migraines,” explains Dr. Mechtler. “For individuals with chronic migraine who have intense headache pain and other symptoms for 15 days or more every month, CGRP treatment can help prevent these attacks and make them less severe.”
Results of the research published in the journal Neurology found that women with chronic migraines had higher levels of the CGRP chemical in their blood than did women who only had occasional migraine pain. “CGRP migraine treatments work to stop or treat migraine pain by either blocking the sites in and around the brain where CRGP must attach to work, or by binding to CGRP to prevent it from working,” says Dr. Mechtler.
Dr. Mechtler is proud to have helped lead a major research study that led to CGRP medications receiving FDA approval for acute treatment of migraines in adults. As a result, DENT patients can now receive Reyvow, Ubrelvy, and Nurtec. Both Reyvow and Ubrelvy are used to block migraine attacks and provide relief within two hours. Unlike biologic medications used to prevent migraine, Ubrelvy is taken orally as a tablet to break a single headache. If pain relief does not occur within two hours of taking the first tablet, patients can take another tablet. Nurtec is a fast-dissolving oral migraine treatment that has a similar mechanism as Ubrelvy, and also works within two hours. Studies revealed that more patients taking Nurtec experienced relief in 60 minutes, two hours, and over the next 48 hours compared to those who took a placebo. CGRP drugs are used to block headaches and not prevent them.
DENT has also been at the forefront of research and FDA approval of monoclonal antibody drugs used to prevent migraines — Amovig, Ajovy, Emgaility, and Byepti. The first three are given by injection subcutaneously once a month. Byepti is administered through an intravenous infusion once every three months. “What is exceptional about these monoclonal antibody medications is that they have an exceptionally high rate of efficacy in preventing migraines,” said Dr. Mechtler. He adds, “We are treating patients at DENT with the very worst history of migraines, and we are seeing very positive results.”
To make an appointment to see if these medications can help you, call the Dent Headache Clinic at 716-250-2000 and visit www.dentinstitute.com/services/headache.