US researchers are looking for the best way to manage headaches after a concussion

Arizona College of Medicine at Tucson.

“data-medium-file =” ” data-large-file = “” loading = “lazy” class = “wp-image-121482 size-full” src = “ .jpg? resize = 800% 2C534 & ssl = 1 “alt =” Frank Porreca is Professor of Pharmacology at the College of Medicine at the University of Arizona at Tucson. “width =” 800 “height =” 534 “srcset =” https: / / i1 / / wp-content / uploads / 2021/08 / Frank-Porreca.jpg? w = 800 & ssl = 1 800w, 300w “size =” (max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px “data-recalc-dims = “1” /> Frank Porreca is Professor of Pharmacology at the College of Medicine at the University of Arizona at Tucson.

Researchers in the United States hope to find the most effective ways to relieve post-traumatic headaches resulting from concussions.

Headaches from mild traumatic brain injury, commonly known as concussions, can be debilitating. Researchers at the University of Arizona Health Sciences hope a US Department of Defense grant of $ 1.84 million will help ease the burden.

Headache is the most common symptom of a concussion,” says Frank Porreca, professor of pharmacology at the University of Tucson’s College of Medicine, who leads the study.

“They can be temporary, lasting from a few days to a few months, they can go away, or they can never go away. If the headache persists for more than three months after the concussion, you have persistent post-traumatic headache, a debilitating condition that could ruin your life. “

More than 2.8 million Americans suffer minor traumatic brain injuries each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Around 360,000 soldiers suffered traumatic brain injuries from 2000 to 2016, of which more than 80% were classified as minor, according to estimates by the Department of Defense.

Many people with post-traumatic headaches report migraine-like symptoms such as headache, fatigue, loss of concentration, loss of executive function, lack of sleep, too much sleep, and hypersensitivity to light or sound, says Dr. Porreca.

While there are drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Association that may help treat migraines in some people, there are no approved drugs for post-traumatic headaches.

In the new study, Dr. Porreca along with Edita Navratilova, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology at the College of Medicine in Tucson, and Trent Anderson, Associate Professor of Basic Medical Science at the University of Phoenix Medical School, are working to identify the mechanisms behind these headaches in order to better understand them how existing medications can be used to relieve symptoms.

“We don’t invent therapies,” explains Dr. Porreca. “We are reviewing existing therapies or those currently in clinical development to see if they are effective.”

The study will examine mechanisms associated with two possible therapies: onabotulinum toxin A, marketed under the brand name Botox and currently used to treat migraines; and a kappa opioid receptor antagonist currently in Phase 2 clinical trials for anxiety disorders. Opioid receptors regulate motivational processes and are important actors in brain regions that control fear, reward processing, mood and cognition.

Researchers believe that kappa opioid receptor antagonists could prove to be safe, effective, and non-addictive therapies for post-traumatic headaches, often caused by stress and sleep-wake disorders. They can also provide additional benefits that are important to the military population, such as: