A recent study published in Headache has revealed a potential connection between the use of anti-calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor antibodies and a decrease in visual hypersensitivity in individuals with migraine. The study involved 105 patients who were treated with either erenumab (Aimovig) or fremanezumab (Ajovy) for three months. Following treatment, there was a positive association between the reduction in monthly migraine days and the decrease in visual hypersensitivity.
Visual hypersensitivity is a common and debilitating symptom of migraine, even after the migraine headache itself has been successfully treated. The study observed a small but significant decrease in visual hypersensitivity scores, indicating some relief from this symptom. However, it is important to note that visual hypersensitivity may not completely resolve, even when converting from chronic to episodic migraine. Nevertheless, any decrease in visual hypersensitivity can be considered relevant in terms of reducing the overall burden of migraine attacks.
The study also found that individuals who experienced more than a 50% reduction in monthly migraine days had a greater decrease in visual hypersensitivity compared to those with less than a 50% reduction. Interestingly, this reduction in visual hypersensitivity was not directly related to the blockage of the trigeminal nerve, a key component of migraine pathophysiology. Instead, it may be a secondary effect of the decrease in migraine days, possibly due to the peripheral action of the anti-CGRP antibodies.
This study provides valuable insights into the potential benefits of using anti-CGRP antibodies for the treatment of migraine, particularly in relation to visual hypersensitivity. Further research is needed to better understand the underlying mechanisms and to explore additional treatment options for this debilitating symptom.
1. Gisela Terwindt, MD. Data from a prospective study published in Headache revealed possible links between visual hypersensitivity and individuals with migraine treated with anti-CGRP receptor antibodies.
2. Vries Lentsch SD, Perenboom MJL, Carpay JA, MaassenVanDenBrink A, Terwindt GM. Visual hypersensitivity in patients treated with anti-calcitonin gene-related peptide (receptor) monoclonal antibodies. Headache. 2023;63(7):926-933.
3. De Vries LS, Al-Hassany L, Ferrari MD, et al. CGRP-mediated trigeminovascular reactivity in migraine patients treated with erenumab. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2022;93:911-912.