27th August 2019

Awarding of The Migraine Trust PhD studentship

The project that has been chosen for the award is ‘Neurophysiological role of amylin in migraine’

A huge thank you to our supporters for their donations, and The Headley Trust for their substantial contribution, which has enabled us to fund a PhD studentship this year.

Applications for the award closed in March, and following a rigorous assessment process by our Scientific Research Committee and Board of Trustees, we are delighted to announce that the project that has been chosen for the award is ‘Neurophysiological role of amylin in migraine’ that is led by Dr Jan Hoffmann and Dr Philip Holland at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London.

Amylin is a neuropeptide that is known to have similar mechanisms to calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), a neuropeptide that is released during migraine attacks and can increase the activation of the nerves that relay headache and facial pain signals to the brain. The new generation of migraine treatment that is currently becoming available is focused on blocking the activity of CGRP.

This project will look at if amylin and CGRP may act on common receptors in the pain processing pathways. Specifically, the research aims to demonstrate if:

  1. the receptor target of amylin is present in headache and facial pain relevant brain regions
  2. targeted inhibition of amylin can modulate headache and facial pain pathways
  3. there is a potential migraine-relevant functional interaction between amylin and CGRP

Together, the above aims will determine the role of amylin in migraine and have the potential to develop a novel therapeutic target for the one billion people with migraine globally.

Congratulating Dr Jan Hoffmann and Dr Philip Holland on the awarding of the studentship to their team, Gus Baldwin, Chief Executive of The Migraine Trust, said:

“We are very excited about this project and what it could mean for furthering the understanding of the mechanisms behind migraine and developing new treatments for it.

“There is still too much that we don’t know about why people get migraine, and too many patients cannot be treated effectively. We hope that this research will make an important contribution towards changing that, which in turn will have a significant impact on improving the lives of those living with this painful and often debilitating condition.”

Following the announcement of the award, Dr Jan Hoffmann and Dr Philip Holland said:

“We are excited and grateful to The Migraine Trust, The Headley Trust, and all who donated to make the funding of this project possible.

“Understanding the role of amylin in migraine pathophysiology will enhance substantially our knowledge on the pathophysiology of this highly disabling disorder and may allow us to identify a novel target for its treatment.”