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Mayo doctor says new migraine treatments appear promising

PHOENIX -- Two treatments are showing some promise in helping those who suffer from migraine headaches.

For the last 20 years, doctors have known of a protein that plays an important role in the formation of migraines, but now, there may be some good news.

"A couple of antibodies have been developed against that particular protein," said Dr. David Dodick, neurology professor at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale. "These antibodies are delivered, one intravenously and one subcutaneously, like an insulin injection."

A three-month study showed that migraine sufferers receiving the treatments saw as much as a 62 percent drop in the number of migraine headache days per month.

Dodick was excited about what this means for present and future patients.

"For the first time, actually, we're entering a new era where we're having migraine drugs that can actually prevent the attacks, and they're designed specifically to treat the migraine," said Dodick.

Right now, migraines are treated with drugs that are designed to help patients with epilepsy and other disorders.

Dodick said more testing is needed, but the new migraine treatments could be available to the public in about two years. The findings of two studies on the treatments will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, which is set for April 26 through May 3 in Philadelphia.

About the Author


Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.

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