Lessons in Migraine Medicine and Changes to the Treatment Toolbox: Stephen Samples, MD


The chair of Allegheny Health Network’s department of neurology provided insight on his clinical experiences with migraine medicine and how the field needs to adapt to the ongoing changes to treatment options. [WATCH TIME: 4 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 4 minutes

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Migraine is a disabling neurological disorder, with recurrent and often debilitating headaches accompanied by neurological symptoms, affecting an estimated 12% of the population. Experiencing a migraine attack is classified within the highest World Health Organization disability class, it results in 45.1 million years with disability, accounting for 5.6% of the global disease burden and more than all other neurological disorders combined. Although migraine continues to be underrecognized by the general public, the amount of research and progress made in drug development cannot be understated.

Currently, migraine is managed through a variety of different medications, including calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) agents, and behavioral lifestyle choices. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, triptans, antiemetics, and ergotamine have all been widely used as abortive treatments while other beta-blockers, antiepileptics, calcium channel blockers, and antidepressants have been commonly prescribed for more preventive measures.

Keeping up with the evolution of migraine care can be difficult, says Stephen Samples, MD, who was recently appointed chair of Allegheny Health Network’s department of neurology. Samples, an internationally recognized physician leader who previously worked for Cleveland Clinic, sat down with NeurologyLive® to discuss some of the challenges with the fast-paced field of migraine and balancing new incoming treatments. In addition, he provided commentary on some of the major unmet needs, including greater research on women in childbearing years, personalization with neurostimulation devices, and addressing comorbid issues of trauma and stigma.

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