Current and recent research projects

Learn about research work that The Migraine Trust funds

The neurophysiological role of amylin in migraine

Grant holder Dr Phil Holland and Dr Jan Hoffmann – Principal 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 – 2021
Location King’s College London

This recently completed project, which supported Dr Anna Andreou as a Migraine Trust Senior Fellow and Joseph Lloyd in undertaking his PhD studentship, aimed 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 have supported 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 investigated how modulation of the brain pathways activated early during a migraine attack, could prevent the development of migraine headache. Through her novel projects, Anna increased our understanding of the migraine pathophysiology and of approaches that could prevent migraine attacks.

Joseph Lloyd
Joseph Lloyd

Joseph was granted a Migraine Trust PhD Studentship in 2016 which he completed in February 2021. In his thesis, supervised by Dr Andreou at King’s College London, Joseph investigated 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, he 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.