For those with migraines, a flare-up doesn’t just affect their daily activities, but can result in additional stresses from missing work, multiple doctors’ appointments, and exacerbation of comorbidities. However, in recent years researchers and clinicians have turned to a new approach to treatment and prevention by targeting calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptors.
Levels of CGRP rise in the blood during a migraine flare-up but drop as the attack begins to subside – showing that a key to alleviating migraine pain is to block CGRP from binding to receptors. “CGRP-related therapies offer considerable improvements over existing drugs as they are the first to be designed specifically to act on the trigeminal pain system,” explained researchers for the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). CGRP monoclonal antibodies (CGRP mAbs) in particular have demonstrated they can be safely used to prevent migraines, shorten their duration, and reduce intensity of symptoms.
“Within the last decade, significant research has emerged as it pertains to using CGRP therapies, particularly with CGRP antibodies. It’s a game changer for both clinicians and chronic migraineurs.,” explained Anne Roc, PhD, Senior Director, Scientific Services at Clinical Care Options. “But with these advances come challenges. Clinicians must have a full view of each patient to better understand comorbidities and how treatments might affect them individually. Equally important is the clinician’s ability to help the patient become educated about their diagnoses so that they can work together as a team to arrive at the best treatment plan – one that’s doctor-approved as well as realistic and understandable for the migraine sufferer.”
To learn how to best educate patients on their treatments doctors, nurses, and other advanced practicing clinicians (APCs) can utilize clinical education programs in areas including neurology. Through relevant, evidence-based education practitioners are offered up-to-date management skills as well as develop and strengthen the clinician/patient partnership – a critical component to the successful treatment and prevention of migraines.
The recent treatments available are life-changing for those suffering with migraines. Thanks to completed and ongoing researching surrounding CGRP therapies there’s now the opportunity to drastically reduce or put a halt to debilitating migraine symptoms. However, these therapies are used at their highest success rate when patients are assessed in total, accounting for comorbidities and other existing treatments, and when clinicians help to educate patients on their diagnoses. As a result, clinicians and patients are better able to forge a partnership and a plan to put a stop to migraine suffering.
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