Current research projects

Learn about research work that The Migraine Trust is currently funding

Current grants

The neurophysiological role of amylin in migraine

Grant holder Dr Phil Holland and Dr Jan Hoffmann – Principle Investigators, Headache Group
Researcher Hannah Creeney – The Migraine Trust PhD Student
Period September 2019 – 2022
Location King’s College London

Our latest PhD studentship was awarded to a project that is being led by Dr Jan Hoffmann and Dr Philip Holland at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London. The project is ‘The neurophysiological role of amylin in migraine’ and the studentship was awarded to neuroscientist Hannah Creeney who commenced her research in September 2019.

Hannah Creeney

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. Amylin and CGRP bind to each other’s receptor and this research will examine if amylin’s actions on these receptors are relevant for migraine. The research aims to determine if an increased understanding of amylin could lead to a new treatment for migraine.

The project has a personal element for Hannah as she has several family and friends who get migraine. Knowing how difficult it is to live with she hopes that her research will help improve the lives of the millions of people worldwide who are affected by migraine.

Hannah, Jan and Phil are grateful to The Migraine Trust’s donors for enabling this important research.

Neuromodulation in migraine and other headaches

Grant holder and researcher Dr Anna Andreou – Primary Investigator, Migraine Trust Senior Research Fellow
Researcher Joseph Lloyd – The Migraine Trust PhD Student
Period September 2016 – 2020
Location King’s College London

This project, which supports Dr Anna Andreou as a Migraine Trust Senior Fellow and Joseph Lloyd to undertake his PhD studentship, aims to further understand migraine pathophysiology (what happens in the brain that leads to migraine symptoms) and to identify the mechanism of action of neuromodulation techniques in migraine.

Dr Andreou
Dr Anna Andreou

The Migraine Trust is proud to be supporting Dr Andreou’s important work. Her early career in migraine research was supported by a Migraine Trust PhD Studentship award in 2005. Then in 2012 she was awarded a Migraine Trust Research Fellowship. This career development award aims to support outstanding researchers to consolidate their skills in headache research and be independent investigators. Anna has received a number of awards, including the European Headache and Migraine Trust International Congress (EHMTIC) New Scientist Lecture Award in 2010 and 2012, and the Trainees Excellence Award by the International Headache Society in 2015. Her work has been published in leading medical journals including Brain and Cephalalgia.

In her research, funded by The Migraine Trust, Anna investigates how modulation of the brain pathways activated early during a migraine attack, could prevent the development of migraine headache. Through her novel projects, Anna hopes to increase our understanding of the migraine pathophysiology and of approaches that could prevent the attacks in sufferers.

Joseph Lloyd
Joseph Lloyd

Joseph was granted a Migraine Trust PhD Studentship in 2016. In his thesis, supervised by Dr Andreou at King’s College London, Joseph aims to investigate the mechanisms of action of three different neuromodulation techniques. These being; transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), spinal cord stimulation (SCS) and occipital nerve stimulation (ONS). Through his studies, Joseph hopes to shed more light on the neuromodulation mechanisms needed to treat and prevent migraine attacks.

Both Anna and Joseph are extremely thankful for all the funding and encouragement they receive from The Migraine Trust supporters and fundraisers.

 

Circadian biology of migraine

Grant holder Dr Phil Holland – Principle Investigator, Headache Group
Researcher Lauren Strother – The Migraine Trust PhD Student
Period June 2016 – 2020
Location King’s College London

With thanks to individual supporters of The Migraine Trust who gave donations to a fundraising appeal in 2015, we have been able to secure further funding to enable Lauren Strother to embark on a PhD studentship.

Lauren Strother
Lauren Strother

Lauren began her project in June 2016 within the department of basic and clinical neuroscience at King’s College London. Over the next four years, she will investigate how circadian rhythms (daily body cycles such as sleep-wake) impact on migraine triggering and susceptibility, as disruption in circadian regulation, such as jet lag and shift work, can trigger migraine attacks.

The study is an entirely new area of research developed from the existing scientific knowledge of migraine. It is Lauren’s hope that this work will result in the possibility of new treatment options and lifestyle changes that could help lighten the burden on migraine sufferers.