12:00 Noon, Monday, 16th November
Room 208, 2nd Floor
720 Cumberland St
Professor Debbie Hay
Pharmacology & Toxicology, University of Otago
‘Medicines and mechanisms of migraine – a spotlight on the neuropeptide CGRP and its curious receptors’
Migraine is much more than a bad headache. Chronic migraine causes 15 or more headache days per month, which is an intolerable drain on a person. Historical “treatments” for migraine included bloodletting and today many of the millions of migraine sufferers worldwide still have no effective therapy. A new therapeutic approach targets a specific neuropeptide-receptor system, the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor system, leading to unprecedented results for some patients in clinical trials. However, there are two major unresolved questions; will these drugs be safe in the long term and why do some patients respond well in clinical trials but others do not? Our extensive investigation of CGRP receptors is providing some insights, for example showing that CGRP activates a second receptor, not only one as was commonly believed. This seminar explores this new therapeutic approach for treating migraine and outlines the challenges and opportunities for making further advances.