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Migraine prevention by targeting glutamate receptors?
Date:4/28/2009

When migraine strikes, because of severe pain, often accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound, sufferers are effectively disabled for up to 72 hours. Since they are forced to stop what they are doing until the pain and other symptoms subside, migraine causes a significant loss in productivity at work and the personal lives of those affected. Migraineurs especially the 25% of migraineurs who experience more than three migraine attacks per month are looking to drug developers to provide new drugs to prevent migraine attacks before they start. In the U.S. alone, approximately 30 million people suffer from migraines and the cost to employers has been estimated at $13 billion annually in lost productivity. Currently, several types of drugs, like generic beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, tricyclic antidepressants and anti-epileptic drugs, some of which are used off-label, are given to prevent migraines. However, many patients have only a partial response to these products, many of which have troubling side effects. Nevertheless, many migraine patients use existing drugs, illustrating how badly new drugs are needed.

Given the role of glutamate in the pathophysiology of migraine, the future of migraine prophylaxis, may lie in modulating one of the receptors in the glutamate system, mGluR5.

At the forthcoming annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in Seattle (April 25 May 2), Addex Pharmaceuticals (SIX: ADXN) will present Phase IIa data on ADX10059, a negative mGluR5 allosteric modulator, which shows efficacy in treating acute migraine attacks and provides evidence that inhibition of this glutamate receptor subtype could play a role in stopping migraine attacks before they start.

Preclinical experiments and small scale studies in migraineurs with drugs like ketamine, which acts on glutamate signaling through NMDA receptors (functionally related to mGluR5) and the NMDA antagonist memantine, suggest th
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Contact: Mike Sinclair
msinclair@halsin.com
44-207-084-5955
Halsin Partners
Source:Eurekalert

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