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Evolving options for the treatment of cluster headache

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-328
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Neurology
Issue number3
Published1 Jun 2020

King's Authors


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Cluster headache is a neurological disorder that patients consider the most severe pain they experience. Recognizing new treatments provides opportunities to advance current management. RECENT FINDINGS: In contrast to the classic treatments, new options narrow in on the therapeutic target and are better tolerated. Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) pathway blockade with monoclonal antibodies (MABs), specifically the CGRP MAB galcanezumab, represents an important advance for episodic cluster headache, reducing the number of attacks during a bout. Neuromodulation strategies aimed at anatomical structures involved in the pathophysiology of cluster headache, such as the sphenopalatine ganglion and the vagus nerve, have proved effective in reducing the pain intensity and the number of attacks, and also to be safe and well tolerated. SUMMARY: Our understanding of the pathophysiology of cluster headache and its management continues to grow. Novel treatments have appeared from research, such as neuromodulation and CGRP monoclonal antibodies. Nonetheless, chronic cluster headache and designing trials that select the correct sham in evaluating devices remain challenging.

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