How Medications Prevent Migraine – CGRPs Made Easy Webinar!
This month, we decided to change things up a little and looked into your highly requested topics based on feedback from past webinars. Migraine medications seem to be something that interests the community so we brought our in-house science geek, Weijie, to explain the mechanics of CGRP drugs during October’s webinar! ?
Here are 4 key takeaways from the webinar if you’re short on time to watch the full session:
CGRP (Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide) is a neurotransmitter protein that’s shown to be present in the blood at elevated levels during a migraine attack
These neurotransmitters are stored in the trigeminal nerve – a nerve in the head responsible for sensory functions (light, sound, external stimulus) and also the fight or flight response.
Migraine is postulated to occur when this heightened sensory awareness goes over a threshold level and causes discomfort to the individual.
Activation of this pathway causes the protein CGRPs to be released from the trigeminal nerve where they can interact with receptors.
When CGRPs and their receptors connect, nasty things can happen i.e. your migraine symptoms appear.
How CGRP Medications Work: The “Boxing Referee” Analogy
CGRP = “Left Boxer”, CGRP receptor = “Right Boxer”. When they meet, punches are thrown and this results in the receiving end getting “symptoms” like nausea, pounding pain, etc.
Migraine medications like anti-CGRPs play the role of a “Boxing Referee”—they stop “Left Boxer” (CGRP) and “Right Boxer” (CGRP receptor) from meeting and fighting each other.
2 Types of “Boxing Referees”
CGRP Receptor Blocker (e.g. Aimovig)
Aimovig binds to the CGRP receptor. CGRP cannot connect to the receptor because the “Boxing Referee” (Aimovig) is standing in its way.
CGRP Blocker (e.g. Ajovy, Emgality, Vyepti)
These blockers bind to CGRP proteins. CGRP receptor cannot receive CGRP since the “Boxing Referee” (Ajovy / Emgality / Vyepti) is likewise, standing in the way of connection.
Drug-Free Migraine Management
Medications are only one part of a larger migraine management plan. Consider these factors before turning to migraine medications:
Cost: medications can add up to a significant amount of spending.
Accessibility: certain medications may not be available in your region due to regulatory measures.
Compatibility with existing medications.
Frequency of migraine attacks.
Type of migraine risk factors: controllable risk factors (lifestyle, diet, stress) may not require preventive treatments.
MBplus, the Premium Migraine Buddy, provides MORE tools, on top of the free ones that we already have, to achieve your migraine goals quicker!
We know that migraine medications may not be the easiest topic to understand so we hope that such webinars can help to break things down a little! If you would like to receive a copy of the slides that Weijie shared during the webinar, simply fill in the feedback form below:
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