REVIEW ARTICLE cGRP and Migraine: The Role of Blocking Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide Ligand and Receptor in the Management of Migraine
Migraine is a highly prevalent, complex neurological disorder. The burden of disease and the direct/indirect annual costs are enormous. Thus far, treatment options have been inadequate and mostly based on trial and error, leaving a significant unmet need for effective therapies. While the underlying pathophysiology of migraine is incompletely understood, blocking the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) using monoclonal antibodies targeting CGRP or its receptor and small molecule CGRP receptor antagonists (gepants) have emerged as a promising therapeutic opportunity for the management of migraine. In this review, we discuss new concepts in the pathophysiology of migraine and the role of CGRP, the current guidelines for treating migraine preventively, the medications that are being used, and their limitations. We then discuss small molecule CGRP receptor antagonists, monoclonal antibodies to CGRP ligand and receptor, as well as the detailed results of Phase II and III trials involving these novel treatments. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of blocking CGRP and its receptor.