, Volume 10, Issue 6, pp 419-422
Date: 17 Oct 2009

Topiramate in migraine progression

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Increasing evidence shows that migraine, typically considered as an episodic disease, is a chronic and, in some patients, progressive disorder. Among neuromodulators used for migraine prevention, topiramate has a high level of evidence-based efficacy. Through its wide range of mechanisms of action topiramate increases the activation threshold resulting in neuronal stabilization and thereby reducing cortical neurons hyperexcitability, which is believed to be an important electrophysiological feature underlying the pathogenesis of epilepsy and migraine. Recent studies show that migraineurs have subclinical structural brain changes and persistent alteration of pain perception, in some cases correlated with the duration of the disease and the frequency of attacks that might play a role in the transformation of episodic migraine to chronic forms. An early and prolonged preventive treatment might reduce the risk of such transformation. Recent evidence suggests that topiramate, by reducing migraine frequency and use of acute medication, may prevent the negative progression of migraine. Furthermore, two recently completed multicenter, randomised, placebo-controlled trials have shown that treatment with topiramate 100 mg/day is effective and well tolerated in patients already progressed to chronic migraine and difficult to treat conditions associated with medication-overuse. Topiramate seems to be a preventive treatment, which might be able to act at different levels of the migraine cycle: reduction of frequency in episodic migraine, prevention, and treatment of chronic migraine.