Writer’s note: Some of you have expressed an interest in learning more of the medical terminology that comes up when discussing migraine disease and other headache disorders. So, I’ll be posting a “term of the day,” on a regular basis. If there are terms you’d like to have defined, please leave a comment below.
When we’re given migraine and headache information, whether from our doctor, a book, or an online article, we sometimes come across medical terms that can be confusing. While it’s easy enough to substitute another word or a short phrase for the medical term, there are times when substituting doesn’t quite convey the same meaning.
Antibody is one of those terms. We’re seeing it used more and more in relation to new migraine medications under development, and it’s an important word for migraineurs to understand.
Webster’s Medical Dictionary defines antibody as:
“Any of a large number of proteins of high molecular weight that are produced normally by specialized B cells after stimulation by an antigen and act specifically against the antigen in an immune response.”
Webster’s definition for students is a bit easier to follow:
“A substance produced by special cells of the body that counteracts the effects of a disease germ or its poisons.”
Here’s an example of how it’s used in a sentence:Some of the new migraine medications in clinical trials utilize CGRP antibodies.
As of December, 2016, four pharmaceutical companies are working to complete advanced clinical trials of medications advanced clinical trials of antibodies that either neutralize CGRP by binding to it, or block its receptor. These medications have the potential to be huge advancements in the treatment of migraine.
For more terms, see our Migraine Medical Terms Glossary Index.
Teri Robert is a leading patient educator and advocate and the author of Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headaches. A co-founder of the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy and the American Headache and Migraine Association, she received the National Headache Foundation’s Patient Partners Award and a Distinguished Service Award from the American Headache Society. Teri can be found on her website, and blog, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.