Targeting Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide and its Receptor by Monoclonal Antibody,
New Developments in the Prevention of Migraine
Migraine is a chronic headache disorder with an unknown pathophysiology.
Research in the past decade has shown that to be a brain disorder, a dismodulation of sensory processing
affecting vascular tone and pain1-3 but since the exact pathomechanism of migraine is not very
well known, its treatment is also difficult.
Current drugs recommended by the “European Federation of Neurological Societies
(EFNS)” used in the treatment of migraine include the triptan
family drugs that are serotonin (5-HT1B/D) receptor agonists
and the Non-Steroid Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs).
Several other drugs such as anti-epileptic drugs, beta-blockers, and
calcium channel blockers are also recommended in the treatment of migraine.
Although glutamic acid is one of the main neurotransmitters in the sensory system,
various neuropeptides have been implicated in pain but among them, Calcitonin Gene Related
Peptide (CGRP) is the only one neuropeptide that was found elevated in the blood of migraine
patients5-7 and CGRP administration induces migraine-like attack in migraine patients.
Therefore, several studies in the last decade focused on drugs to block the CGRP receptor9-11 or the
effect of CGRP itself by antibodies against it10-12 although, it is not clear if the site of action of
these drugs is peripheral or central.
Nevertheless, some newer drugs in this category including MK-3207,22,23
BMS-84637224,25 and MK-160226 are still under investigation, see10 for a brief review.
Nevertheless, research in the treatment of migraine did not stop here and search for
other drugs being able to block CGRP or its receptor continued.
Neuro Open J. 2015; 2(3): e6-e10. doi: 10.17140/NOJ-2-e004