Cocktail Vitamin Pill To Treat Migraine To Hit Market Soon: Australia

Vitamin Pill Migraine Photo

Now B vitamins and folate combo to improve enzymes connected to migraines (1)

Australian scientists are in the final stages of testing a pill which could help as many as 20% of all migraine sufferers in the country.

It has been noted that migraineurs often have a mutation in the gene called MTHR (or Methylene Tetra-Hydrofolate Reductase). Due to this mutated gene, there exists a deficiency in the enzyme that the gene is responsible for releasing. This enzyme is actually responsible for regulating levels of folate and homocysteine in the body.

But because there are low levels of the enzyme released due to the mutation of the gene, homocysteine levels cannot be controlled efficiently leading to migraines, increased risk of stroke and cardiovascular disorder.

However, the new pill undergoing final stages of trials, is essentially a cocktail of folate and B vitamins and is being seen to improve the functionality of the enzyme that regulates homocysteine levels

As per lead researcher Professor Lyn Griffiths who is also heading a new unit at the Queensland University of Technology that is investigating gene mutations linked to migraines and other chronic illnesses, “A cofactor for the enzyme is vitamins and we’ve done a phase-one and phase-two trial that showed they could make the enzyme work better.” (2)

The final rounds of phase-three trial include some 600 migraine sufferers to test the efficacy of the pill. Though the pill does not claim that it will cure migraines, especially in those without the gene mutation, it does assure that it will reduce both their frequency as well as the severity of the pain in those who do carry the mutation MTHR.

Note:

Migraine sufferers who want to find out if they have the MTHR gene mutation can have a blood sample taken and sent to the university for a $66 DNA test. Professor Griffiths is urging people who suffer from migraine to join the Headache Register at headacheaustralia.org.au. The site allows sufferers to access the latest in migraine news and research, learn about current and upcoming treatment trials and download a Headache Diary to help them manage their disorder.

SOURCES

  1. Image Credit: Young Female Having Headache by imagerymajestic; freedigitalphotos.net; Web September 2013; http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Emotions_g96-Young_Female_Having_Headache_p74906.html
  2. Hopes vitamin pill will ease crippling migraines; News.com.au; Web September 2013; http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/hopes-vitamin-pill-will-ease-crippling-migraines/story-fneuzlbd-1226721310920

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Serotonin and Neurological Afflictions

Hi,

Last week we saw how eating a tryptophan-rich diet didn’ t necessarily translate into increased serotonin levels in the brain unless backed by adequate Vitamin B3, B6 and complex carbohydrates. It however, did place one a better chance at getting a serotonin boost.

Studies have established some links to a defecient state of brain serotonin with other neurological afflictions besides migraines, such as alcoholism, depression, suicidal tendencies, PTSD, obsessive compulsive disorders, generalised anxiety disorders and social phobia to name a few.

We may experience low brain serotonin levels due to a variety of reasons:

1. Low levels of production of brain serotonin.

2. Less number of serotonin receptors in our brain region

3. High reuptake rate of serotonin back from the synapse into the presynaptic neurons, and

4. Defeciency in tryptophan levels in our body.

There is a new and fifth interesting dimension that has cropped up – that of the serotonin transporter gene (SERT). To relay a message, a neuron releases serotonin into the synapse or the gap between two neurons from where their dendrites begin. Once the message is relayed to the next neuron, the released serotonin in the synapse is collected and transported back to the pre-synaptic neuron by the SERT. SERTS are monoamine proteins. It has been found that when there are changes in the SERT metabolism, neurological afflictions begin.

It is also now being thought that the gene (called SLC6A4 – Solute Carrier family 6, member 4) that encodes the SERT can be mutated and result in changing the functions of SERT.

The area (aka promotor) in the gene SLC6A4 which synthesises RNA under the instrucions from DNA, contains polymorphism – some long repeats (16 repeats of a sequence) and some short repeats (14 repeats of a sequence). Shorter repeats obviously enable lesser coding in them and thus when we have a pair of short repeats we get an increase in the risks of developing disorder states.

So though SSRIs and beta blockers may help migraineurs as well as those suffering from insomnia, depression, PTSD and other anxiety disorders, their efficacy will not be the same between 2 persons with the same condition. Those predisposed to neurological and psychological conditions due to the presence of 2 short versions of the gene will be less benefitted than those with other variations (2 long or 1 long and 1 short).

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