Breakthrough in migraine research: new hope for medication for migraine with aura
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Breakthrough in migraine research: new hope for medication for migraine with aura

Anna Sandner
10.7.2024
Translation: machine translated

Researchers uncover previously unknown signalling pathway in the brain. New hope for more effective treatments for migraine with aura.

It is these discoveries that make the hearts of researchers beat faster and can give hope to sufferers: Scientists at the University of Copenhagen have made a groundbreaking progress in migraine research. The international research team was able to uncover a previously unknown mechanism that triggers the agonising symptoms of migraines with aura, which are accompanied by severe headaches and other symptoms such as visual disturbances, speech problems and numbness.

New understanding of the development of migraine attacks

A special nerve structure at the base of the skull, the so-called trigeminal ganglion, is at the centre of the study. At this location, the researchers discovered an unusual permeability of the blood-brain barrier. This special feature enables certain molecules from the brain to communicate with the peripheral nervous system - a process that was previously considered impossible.

The investigations showed that a number of proteins are released during a migraine attack. These utilise the permeable site at the trigeminal ganglion and interact with pain receptors there. This process triggers both the typical headache and the characteristic perceptual disturbances. Interestingly, there is every indication that this mechanism can occur independently in both hemispheres of the brain, which provides a possible explanation for the often unilateral migraine pain.

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    Research reveals possible migraine treatment methods

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Newly discovered signalling pathway offers a starting point for drugs

The study results, which were published in the journal "Science", open up new perspectives for the treatment of migraine. The researchers identified several potential targets for future therapies. These findings could pave the way for the development of more effective drugs - a promising prospect for patients who have not yet found an effective treatment. Although the development of new drugs will take a long time, these advances may bring hope for an improved quality of life to millions of sufferers worldwide.

In addition, the discovery could also be significant for other areas of neurology. The researchers suspect that the newly discovered mechanism could possibly also play a role in other neurological diseases.

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Header image: Alex Green/Pexels

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Science editor and biologist. I love animals and am fascinated by plants, their abilities and everything you can do with them. That's why my favourite place is always outside - somewhere in nature, preferably in my wild garden.


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