Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Unharmed Jellyfish Extract for Migraine

For a while now, I've been thinking to myself, "What's next for me and my migraines?" I didn't like where the migraine specialist wanted to go (hospitalization, lots of pills I'd mostly already tried, and some I hadn't), and I can't afford to go to a practitioner of more natural methods because medicare simply won't cover it. As far as treatments, I've been at a bit of a standstill.

So, I was very interested when I received an email from Quincy Bioscience alerting me to an online migraine trial they are putting on.

Quincy Bioscience has recently launched a distance trial to study the effects of apoaequorin on migraines after hearing several anecdotal reports that the use of a popular over-the-counter supplement reduced the symptoms of migraines.

The Online Migraine Trial is a double-blind, placebo-controlled study that is conducted online using migraine assessment surveys. All study supplies are shipped directly to participants. The trial will last 90 days. There is no travel required or samples to collect. You can complete your testing from the comfort of your own home!

HOPE Trials is the research arm of Quincy Bioscience and has pioneered a form of trial research called ‘patient reported outcomes’ testing. You can read about our work here:

Visit for more information and to apply.

I did some pretty basic google research and came up with the interesting info that apoaequorin is a humanely-extracted, jellyfish-glow-magic supplement that does things to calcium on a cellular level that I do not understand.

It allegedly (per google) improves memory, helps migraine, and can also be useful for MS and Parkinson's. I looked hard, but couldn't find a single peer-reviewed study that says apoaequorin has any effect on the human body.

So, my inner skeptic was on the lookout for signs of scamminess, because why isn't there a peer-reviewed study anywhere if this stuff works likes they claim it does? Besides the random, super-ebullient forum posts touting apoaequorin's phenomenal effect on their [insert neurological disease here], I thought it was odd that Prevagen's website (who are the makers of an apoaequorin supplement and are related to Quincy) promotes that apoaequorin won a nobel prize in chemistry. That's true, but it didn't get the prize for it's health benefits, just for being discovered in jellyfish, as the glow magic. I thought that was rather misleading.

But, you know what? It was free and that's my favorite price, and what else do I have going on? So, when I got the package, I tore into it like it was full of possibilities and looked over the contents carefully, to make sure I was going to do everything perfectly. The package contained three bottles of capsules, a folder with more details of the study and a stack of migraine diary pages to fill out while taking the supplements.

Over the next three months, I took my pill almost every morning (I missed nine, total). I dutifully filled out their diary pages, completed their online evaluations once a month, and spoke with an endlessly polite and helpful representative on the phone several times. (Taylor, you're awesome!) By the end of the trial, I couldn't help but be a little disappointed that it did nothing for me. I waited not-so-patiently for the mail to bring me news of whether I'd been taking the actual supplement or a placebo and was happy to find that I'd been taking the placebo.

What happened to my inner skeptic? She was tired of nothing helping her aching head.

But, the cool thing about this study is, at the end of it, if you find out that you didn't get to try the real thing, you get to try the real thing! For free! I love free stuff so much!

So, I got my real 90-day supply of jellyfish magic, and took it daily, as directed.

I started getting more and more depressed right around this time, so at about the one-month mark, I called up Taylor and asked if that was a side effect that had been reported. She said that people have actually reported apoaequorin helping their depression symptoms. She offered to call me back in a week and we could talk about adjusting my dosage if I was still having trouble. I think Taylor has been my favorite part of this experience. Quincy, or Prevagen or whoever, you hold on to that lady, she's a good one.

The depression ebbed back and didn't resurface again too strongly during the trial, but I've just started month three of the three-month supply and my migraines remain unaffected. I'll finish it up, it doesn't appear to me harming me, at least, but I have to admit that I'm disappointed. Stupid hope gets me every time.