Wolff Award-Winning Research Identifies Unmet Treatment Need for Migraine Patients With Allodynia

How AHS doctors are changing the way we treat allodynia

Findings published in the July/August issue of Headache have identified an unmet treatment need for patients with chronic migraine who also experience allodynia: a longitudinal, population-based AMPP study uncovered a connection between allodynia and an interference in the effectiveness of medication treatment.

Allodynia in people with migraine is sensitivity to stimuli that are not normally painful.

The study’s findings could reinforce the importance of awareness and consideration of allodynia in developing a treatment plan for migraine. Whereas triptan medication is generally associated with the best outcomes for migraine treatment, Dr. Richard Lipton’s newly-published research  found triptans were more likely to provide inadequate outcomes where migraine and allodynia were both present.

That conclusion could also help clear a longstanding hurdle in patient communication with clinicians when describing patients’ symptoms of allodynia—which can be difficult to identify or even understand—and thus are challenging for patients to communicate to their healthcare providers. As a result, the importance of treating the comorbid conditions as interrelated may have been understated in the past.

“When patients tell us things, we should believe them, even if we don’t understand them,” Dr. Lipton said at the American Headache Society’s 59th Annual Scientific Meeting in Boston, according to Neurology Advisor.

Furthermore, in-depth consideration of the relationship between allodynia and migraine comorbidity and its impact on treatment efficacy can provide clues regarding the pathophysiology of migraine and headache progression, Neurology Advisor reports.

The study, “Allodynia is associated with initial and sustained response to acute migraine treatment: results from the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention (AMPP) study” led by Richard Lipton and co-authored by Sagar Munjal, Dawn Buse, Alix Bennett, Kristina Fanning, Rami Burstein and Michael Reed, received the H.G. Wolff Lecture Award June 9 at the Boston AHS scientific meeting.

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