Migraines are recurrent headaches that are triggered by various external factors such as light and stress and often result in a decrease in the productivity and quality of life. Migraines can become very painful, often resulting in nausea, vomiting, and sometimes, temporary immobility. Despite the establishment of its association with the brain and the rest of the central nervous system, migraines have also been theorized to involve the circulatory system.
The Search for Pain Relief
The search for the ultimate pain relief for migraines has continued for decades, with potential candidates being extensively analyzed in terms of their effectiveness and clearance from the body after drug intake. However, most of these candidate drugs have also been linked to ineffectiveness after continuous intake for years, thus allowing the pain to recur.
In a recent study published in the medical journal Translational Neuroscience, the administration of a modified protein drug to mice has resulted in the reduction in the occurrence of migraines. The principle behind this pain relief study was based on the direct targeting of the nerves that were responsible in developing migraines. Previous studies have shown that migraines are due to the continuous sensitivity and responsiveness of protein channels on the membranes of nerve cells. The hypersensitivity of protein channels generally triggers a battery of cellular reactions that ultimately result in severe headaches. Biomedical researchers have thus embarked on various research studies that focus on identifying an effective pain relief format that can prevent the hypersensitivity of these nerve protein channels. In the current study, researchers synthesized a protein called CBD3, which prevents the protein channels from binding with other proteins that result in the pain that is characteristic of migraines.
Is This the Future of Pain Relief?
The binding mechanism behind the pain relief using the CBD3 protein drug mainly involves the decrease in the sensitivity of the protein channel to other proteins. It has been theorized that when other proteins bind to the protein channels of the nerve cells of the brain, a cascade of reactions occur, which ultimately result in pain and headache. The introduction of the synthetic CBD3 protein thus results in its occupancy within the protein channels, inhibiting its further interaction with other proteins, thus facilitating pain relief.
The synthetic CBD3 protein drug was also introduced into experimental mice with migraine headaches to monitor its effects on pain. The mice, which received the synthetic protein through injection into their abdomen, showed the absence of pain for approximately four hours. In addition, the synthetic CBD3 protein was excreted in the urine soon after the experiment, suggesting that this pain relief formulation is easily removed from the body and thus may not pose any threat to the general health of the experimental animals. However, the rapid excretion of the synthetic protein also suggests that this pain relief format may not be optimal in treating migraines because it is not retained in the body for at least 24 hours in order for the pain symptoms to fully dissipate.
The Results of the Pain Studies
Another synthetic pain relief formulation, G14F, was also tested for its effects on pain related to migraines. Using experimental mouse models of migraine headaches, the administration of G14F showed extended pain relief, much longer than the CBD3 protein drug. The results of the G14F protein drug also showed promising results against pain as compared to the currently used prescription drugs for migraine headaches, such as Zerit®.
The results of the study showed that the administration of synthetic proteins as drugs against headache pain might be more effective than current pain relief formulations. The synthetic protein drugs tested in the research study directly targeted the protein channels present at the terminal ends of nerves, preventing them from reacting to external stimuli that eventually generate pain. The pain relief that resulted from the introduction of the synthetic protein drugs suggests that these new therapeutic options may be used for recurrent headaches, to improve the symptoms that generally characterize this chronic disorder.