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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Migraines Could Lead To White Matter Damage In Brain: New Study

Migraine photo

Abnormalities are common in the signal-sending white matter of migraineurs with aura (1)

A recent analysis of some 19 medical studies put together on migraineurs point that permanent changes likely occur in the brain of those who suffer from migraines and particularly those among them who experience aura – visual or otherwise, before the onset of an attack.

The analysis which was published online in the latest Journal of Neurology concluded that migraineurs with aura were almost two times as likely to have anamolies/abnormalities in the brain structure as those who do not suffer from migraines.

MRIs clearly show white-matter blips and other tissue changes in the migraineurs brain images but how exactly do these neurological variances translate to significant imagery correlate or give a prognosis of progressive deterioration is yet to be seen.

According to Dr. Richard B. Lipton, a neurologist who heads the Montefiore Headache Center in the Bronx, N.Y. “Part of the message I hope to communicate here is: If you have migraine with aura and you have white-matter lesions, they’re probably not a cause of concern.”  (2) However he noted that migraineurs with aura have twice the risk of getting a stroke than non-aura migraineurs

The 19 medical study analysis said the occurrence of tiny lesions that imitate scars left from strokes in aura migraineurs have left them inconclusive because there was no significant evidence of cognitive decline or other neurological symptoms from such lesions or other white-matter anomalies.

In addition, Dr Lipton said that it was good to follow the ‘you never know’ strategy,  further saying, “If you have migraine with aura, certainly you shouldn’t smoke,. Certainly, if you are going to use oral contraceptives, you should use the lowest possible hormonal dose. If you have other stroke risk factors such as hypertension or diabetes or high cholesterol, it becomes particularly important to manage those risk factors.” (2)

What was found to be more disturbing was the uncertainty that surrounds the direction of the correlations. This especially so because it puts forth the reverse question on the table : Is it that the peculiar white-matter phenomena of aura migraineurs on MRI images is what makes for a migraine-prone brain? That is, are the brains of migraine patients different to begin with?

SOURCE:

  1. Image Credits: Sad Middle Aged Woman Suffering From Headache; StockImages; FreeDigitialPhotos.net; Web August 2103; http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Emotions_g96-Sad_Middle_Aged_Woman_Suffering_From_Headache_p150766.html
  2. Migraine could be associated with brain damage, study warns; Los Angeles Times; Web August 2013; http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-migraine-brain-damage-20130828,0,7497521.story

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