This has been an important year for migraine research and new migraine treatments. In 2015, we’ve also focused much needed attention on partnering with our doctors for more successful treatment and the importance of maintaining hope. As the year draws to an end, all of us at HealthCentral are looking back and featuring some of 2015’s most significant content.
People often ask me the “secret” behind my migraine management success. One “secret” is that the success of my migraine management regimen fluctuates. Sometimes, treatments stop working; sometimes, I’ve had to reduce the dosage or stop taking them because of other health issues. Members of the HealthCentral staff helped Dr. Watson and me share my story and how we work together as true treatment partners. Dr. Watson and I both hope that sharing our story will help others form and strengthen successful partnerships with their doctors.
This article is based on a journal article by Dr. Peter Goadsby in which he outlines and discusses the incredible progress that has been made in migraine research and it’s very real and significant implications for all of us who have migraine disease. In an interview, Dr. Goadsby told me:
“The review shows how much is going on and how much has gone on since the development of the triptans. We have exciting advances in acute treatment and in preventive management of migraine… And all this on a shoe-string budget in academic research. Why is it so slow to get to patients, even though the list of possibilities dwarfs all other neurology problems - there is simply not enough investment in the well-being of our patients. Its an era of better care dawning - lets get it moving”
A significant event of 2015 was the availability of the Spring TMS device (sTMS) for migraine treatment. When it was first approved by the FDA for the acute treatment of migraine, it was available from only six migraine and headache clinics and only to patients enrolled in new clinical trials of the sTMS for migraine prevention. It’s now more widely available, and can be prescribed for patients not enrolled in the clinical trials.
One of our biggest frustrations is that there are no treatments on the market that were originally developed for migraine prevention. We have many possible preventive options, but they were all developed for other conditions, then found to help some people with migraine prevention. There’s an entirely new class of medications under development for migraine prevention - CGRP monoclonal antibody treatments.
Setting effective migraine management goals is tricky. We want and need to be positive and hopeful, but we also need to be realistic. It’s a combination of those features that make truly effective goals.
_Reviewed by David Watson, MD. _
© Teri Robert, 2015. • Last updated December 21, 2015.
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+.