Providing Optimal Management for Migraine Amid a Growing Treatment Landscape: Jessica Ailani, MD


The director of the MedStar Georgetown Headache Center discussed the importance of a healthy clinician-patient relationship and the conversations needed during treatment selection for migraine. [WATCH TIME: 4 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 4 minutes

"Personalized medicine is not only medication, but lifestyle choices: managing stress, behavioral therapies, neuromodulation. In our case in migraine, this therapeutic bond that happens between the patient and the clinician.”

Migraine is a primary headache disorder commonly associated with nausea/vomiting, sensitivities to light/sound/smell, and aura signaling that a headache may soon occur. Over the years, the way in which migraine is treated has changed significantly, mainly through the introduction of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP)-targeted agents. These highly effective and safe medications added to the toolbox of migraine treatments, which also include anti-inflammatories, triptans, antiemetics, ergotamines, beta-blockers, antiepileptics, calcium channel blockers, and antidepressants.

CGRPs remain the only class of currently used preventive explicitly developed for the treatment of migraines. The currently available CGRP monoclonal antibodies target either the CGRP molecule itself or the CGRP receptor. In addition to these therapies, patients may also try lifestyle and home remedies, including daily exercise, relaxation techniques, developing a sleeping and eating routine, staying hydrated, and keeping a headache diary. While there are several different approaches to treating migraine, healthy communication between patients and providers about what suits them best may lead to greater long-term outcomes, says Jessica Ailani, MD.

Ailani, director of the MedStar Georgetown Headache Center, recently served as a cochair of the 2023 International Congress on the Future of Neurology (IFN) Annual Meeting, held in Jersey City, New Jersey. During the meeting, the migraine expert sat down with NeurologyLive® to discuss the difficulties with prescribing the most optimal treatment strategy for a patient amid a growing treatment landscape. She spoke specifically about the need to have discussions on the types of therapies, routes of administration, and what patients’ day-to-day life looks like. Furthermore, she detailed the importance building strong patient-clinician relationships and how it might impact disease prognosis.

Click here for more coverage of IFN 2023.

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