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      Opening of ATP-sensitive potassium channels causes migraine attacks: a new target for the treatment of migraine

      1 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 2 , 1

      Brain

      Oxford University Press (OUP)

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          Abstract

          Migraine is one of the most disabling and prevalent of all disorders. To improve understanding of migraine mechanisms and to suggest a new therapeutic target, we investigated whether opening of ATP-sensitive potassium channels (KATP) would cause migraine attacks. In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study, 16 patients aged 18–49 years with one to five migraine attacks a month were randomly allocated to receive an infusion of 0.05 mg/min KATP channel opener levcromakalim and placebo on two different days (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03228355). The primary endpoints were the difference in incidence of migraine attacks, headaches and the difference in area under the curve (AUC) for headache intensity scores (0–12 h) and for middle cerebral artery blood flow velocity (0–2 h) between levcromakalim and placebo. Between 24 May 2017 and 23 November 2017, 16 patients randomly received levcromakalim and placebo on two different days. Sixteen patients (100%) developed migraine attacks after levcromakalim compared with one patient (6%) after placebo (P = 0.0001); the difference of incidence is 94% [95% confidence interval (CI) 78–100%]. The incidence of headache over the 12 h observation period was higher but not significant after levcromakalim (n = 16) than after placebo (n = 7) (P = 0.016) (95% CI 16–71%). The AUC for headache intensity was significantly larger after levcromakalim compared to placebo (AUC0–12h, P < 0.0001). There was no change in mean middle cerebral artery blood flow velocity after levcromakalim compared to placebo (AUC0–2hP = 0.46). Opening of KATP channels caused migraine attacks in all patients. This suggests a crucial role of these channels in migraine pathophysiology and that KATP channel blockers could be potential targets for novel drugs for migraine.

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          Most cited references 50

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          Efficacy and tolerability of MK-0974 (telcagepant), a new oral antagonist of calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor, compared with zolmitriptan for acute migraine: a randomised, placebo-controlled, parallel-treatment trial.

          Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) probably has a role in migraine pathophysiology, and antagonism of its receptors might provide treatment without the vasoconstrictor effects of triptans. We aimed to assess the clinical profile of MK-0974 (telcagepant), an orally bioavailable antagonist of CGRP receptor. In a randomised, parallel-treatment, placebo-controlled, double-blind, trial at 81 sites in the Europe and the USA, adults with migraine diagnosed by International Headache Society criteria treated moderate or severe attacks with either oral telcagepant 150 mg or 300 mg, zolmitriptan 5 mg, or placebo. The five co-primary endpoints were pain freedom, pain relief, or absence of photophobia, phonophobia, or nausea at 2 h after treatment. Analysis was by the full analysis set and multiplicity was controlled for with a step-down closed-testing procedure. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00442936. 1380 patients were randomly assigned to receive telcagepant 150 mg (n=333) or 300 mg (354), zolmitriptan (345), or placebo (348). Telcagepant 300 mg was more effective than placebo for pain freedom (95 [27%] of 353 patients vs 33 [10%] of 343 [p<0.0001]), pain relief (194 [55%] of 353 vs 95 [28%] of 343 [p<0.0001]), and absences of phonophobia (204 [58%] of 353 vs 126 [37%] of 342 [p<0.0001]), photophobia (180 [51%] of 353 vs 99 [29%] of 342 [p<0.0001]), and nausea (229 [65%] of 352 vs 189 [55%] of 342 [p=0.0061]). Efficacy of telcagepant 300 mg and zolmitriptan 5 mg were much the same, and both were more effective than telcagepant 150 mg. Adverse events were recorded for 31% taking telcagepant 150 mg, 37% taking telcagepant 300 mg, 51% taking zolmitriptan 5 mg, and 32% taking placebo. Telcagepant 300 mg is effective as an acute treatment for migraine with efficacy comparable to that of zolmitriptan 5 mg, but with fewer associated adverse effects. Merck Research Laboratories.
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            Neurobiology of migraine.

            Migraine is a complex disorder of the brain whose mechanisms are only now being unraveled. It is common, disabling and economically costly. The pain suggests an important role of the nociceptive activation, or the perception of activation, of trigeminal cranial, particularly intracranial afferents. Moreover, the involvement of a multi-sensory disturbance that includes light, sound and smells, as well as nausea, suggests the problem may involve central modulation of afferent traffic more broadly. Brain imaging studies in migraine point to the importance of sub-cortical structures in the underlying pathophysiology of the disorder. Migraine may thus be considered an inherited dysfunction of sensory modulatory networks with the dominant disturbance affecting abnormal processing of essentially normal neural traffic.
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              PACAP38 induces migraine-like attacks in patients with migraine without aura.

              Experimental studies have shown that infusion of vasoactive neurotransmitters may trigger headache or migraine-like attacks in man. Pituitary adenylate cyclase activating peptide-38 (PACAP38) is a strong vasodilator found in trigeminal sensory and parasympathetic perivascular nerve fibers. We therefore hypothesized that infusion of PACAP38 would cause headache in healthy subjects and migraine-like attacks in migraine patients. Twelve healthy subjects and 12 migraine patients were examined in two separate studies. All subjects were allocated to receive 10 pmol/kg/min PACAP38 and placebo in a randomized, double-blind crossover study design. Headache was scored on a verbal rating scale (VRS) during hospital (0-2 h) and post-hospital (2-12 h) phases. Mean blood flow velocity in the middle cerebral artery (V(MCA)) by transcranial Doppler (TCD) and diameter of the superficial temporal artery (STA) by high resolution ultrasonography were recorded during hospital phase in migraineurs. PACAP38 infusion caused headache in all healthy subjects and 11 out of 12 migraine patients. Seven migraine patients experienced migraine-like attacks after PACAP38 and none after placebo (P = 0.016). Most of attacks (6 out of 7) occurred during the post-hospital phase [mean time 6 h (range 2-11)]. Two healthy subjects reported migraine-like attacks after PACAP38 during the hospital phase and none during the post-hospital phase. In the hospital phase, the area under the curve (AUC) for headache score was larger during PACAP38 infusion compared to placebo in healthy subjects (P = 0.005) and tended to be larger in migraineurs (P = 0.066). In the post-hospital phase, the AUC for headache was larger after PACAP38 infusion compared to placebo in both healthy subjects (P = 0.005) and migraine patients (P = 0.013). In migraine patients, PACAP38 caused a peak decrease of 16.1% in V(MCA) and a 37.5% increase in STA diameter at 20 min after start of infusion. In conclusion, PACAP38 infusion caused headache and vasodilatation in both healthy subjects and migraine patients. In migraine sufferers, PACAP38 caused delayed migraine-like attacks. The findings stimulate further investigation of the neuronal and vascular mechanisms of PACAP38.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Brain
                Oxford University Press (OUP)
                0006-8950
                1460-2156
                July 10 2019
                July 10 2019
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Danish Headache Center, Department of Neurology, Rigshospitalet Glostrup, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
                [2 ]Glostrup Research Park, Rigshospitalet Glostrup, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
                Article
                10.1093/brain/awz199
                © 2019

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