12th September, European Migraine Day of Action
Europapress, 12th September 2012. 15% of European population suffers migraine, a pathology that affects the social, family and working life of patients, causing in Europe a loss of 20 million of working days per year which is equal to 27 million euros per year.
According to a study of the Neurology Department of Capio Hospital General de Catalunya, the 95% of migraine sufferers has a deficiency of the enzyme called Diamine Oxidase (DAO). The study led by the neurologist Dr. Joan Izquierdo, head of the Headache Unit of CapioHospital General de Catalunya, has been awarded by the Catalan Society of Neurology and published in August in the last issue of “Revista de Neurología” magazine. This research is promoted by DR Healthcare, a laboratory based in Barcelona. Recently, the Physicians’ College of Barcelona has gone into partnership with DR Healthcare to support its research in functional biology and genomics.
DAO enzyme is located in the small bowel and degrades exogenous histamine (which does not come from the body itself). This essential molecule is also found in most food of daily diet and when human body does not metabolize it properly, due to DAO deficiency, histamine passes into the bloodstream where it accumulates causing the typical vascular headache of migraine and other chronic pathologies.
The study opens up new avenues to provide a definitive diagnosis of migraine as well as a change of perspective on its treatment. Currently, drugs are used to palliate the pain caused by headache but they may have adverse effects due to an extensive consumption. Now, on the basis of the study, it is possible to complete a preventive treatment. The same research team of the Capio Hospital General de Catalunya is developing a study to determine the reduction of symptoms by giving an oral supplementation of this protein to migranious patients with DAO deficiency, a problem that is affecting healthy people with a physiological dysfunction.
These investigations have been promoted by DR Healthcare, a biomedical young company based inBarcelona and specialized in research of metabolic pathologies and applied clinical research on DAO deficiency, its causes, effects and treatment, especially in reference to migraine.
Last July, the Physicians’ College of Barcelona entered in DR Healthcare’s capital to support its investigations in functional biology, genomics and DAO deficiency. The cooperation of the Physician’s College proves the interest of the medical community in DAO deficiency and its treatment to prevent migraine and other pathologies. In fact, it is possible to carry out specific analytical tests throughout the country to detect DAO deficiency, which until recently was not possible to determine.
From a medical point of view, the advantage of functional biology is that it allows new therapeutic approaches for prophylactic treatment of chronic pathologies without the adverse effects of drugs. From an economic point of view this provides a genuine opportunity, since currently many drug patents are expiring and there is a growing use of generics.