Acid-sensing ion channel 1: A novel therapeutic target for migraine with aura

Centre for Neuroregeneration, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
Annals of Neurology (Impact Factor: 9.98). 10/2012; 72(4):559-63. DOI: 10.1002/ana.23653
Source: PubMed


Migraine with aura is a severe debilitating neurological disorder with few relatively specific therapeutic options.
We used amiloride, a blocker of epithelial sodium channels, to evaluate its pharmacological potential and explored the biology of a potential mechanism of action in well-established experimental models.
Amiloride was shown to block cortical spreading depression, the experimental correlate of aura, and inhibited trigeminal activation in in vivo migraine models, via an acid-sensing ion channel 1 mechanism. Remarkably, amiloride then demonstrated good clinical efficacy in a small open-labeled pilot study of patients, reducing aura and headache symptoms in 4 of 7 patients with otherwise intractable aura.
The observations here identify an entirely novel treatment strategy for migraine. ANN NEUROL 2012;72:559-563.

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    • "Migraine is 3–4 times more common in women, and its estimated heritability is between 40% and 65% (Anttila et al., 2008; Holland et al., 2012; Schürks et al., 2010). The diagnosis of common migraine includes recurrent attacks of disabling unilateral headaches along with nausea, vomiting, photo-and phonophobia, and about 20–30% have accompanying aura symptoms (Freilinger et al., 2012; Holland et al., 2012). "
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