Hope for a cure | MHAM Blogging Challenge

Today’s prompt: Do you have hope that a cure will be found for your headache disorder? Tell us about your hope.

A cure? I don’t know how soon, but I think it will take decades of committed research and they will likely find that migraine occurs in many different ways. The cure for each will be slightly different.  Because the genetic mutations for Familial Hemiplegic Migraine are known, I think this type of Migraine has the best chance of getting a cure the soonest. If we keep putting pressure on politicians and we continue to raise awareness and research funds, then yes, a cure will eventually be found. It might not be in my lifetime, but my sweet grandbaby just might benefit.

1975 to 1994

In the short term, I have a lot of hope and confidence that more effective treatments will be available in the near future. For the first 16 years of my life, my only option for relief was ibuprofen. In my teens and early 20s, I had the option of Midrin and Elavil. Neither one worked well. There were other treatments available, but I did not know about them. Apparently, neither did my doctors. In college, Imitrex made its debut. When I finally got access to it at age 24, I thought it was a miracle.

1995 to 2015

Between 1995 and 2015, the surge in new research and development has produced 6 more triptan medications plus several different delivery methods to offset the nausea and vomiting that keeps many patients from being able to use the pill varieties. There are injections, nasal sprays, and even a skin patch. Even though many migraineurs cannot use triptan because of safety contraindications or tolerability problems, it’s still a huge leap forward.

2015 and beyond

Now we are entering an exciting time in the world of headache medicine.  After years of trial and error, the first migraine-specific preventive treatment may soon be available. Never in recorded history has there been such a treatment. Four new preventive drugs are in clinical trials. At least one is ready for Phase III trials. All of them target Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptides (CGRP), which are thought to be at least partly responsible for the Migraine attack process. Both triptans and Botox have been shown to also block CGRP in after-market studies.

It’s not here yet and it’s not a cure, so why am I so optimistic?  For the first 20 years of my life, there were no treatment options specific to migraine. In the next 20 years, there was an explosion of treatment options to abort attacks once they started. We are just 5 years in to my fourth decade and already we have Botox, neurostim implants, various nerve decompression surgeries, transcranial magenetic stimulation, new delivery methods for SPG blocks, and even more on the way. Not all of these treatments will prove successful, yet it is a hopeful sign that migraine and headache disorders are finally being taken seriously enough to warrant the use of research dollars to find better treatment options and someday, a cure.

We have to keep making a lot of noise, raising a lot of money, and building awareness that migraine is not “just a headache.”

The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge
is organized by the American Headache and Migraine Association.

#MHAM, #MHAMBC, #migraine, #clusterheadache, #chronicmigraine

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