Current research projects
Learn about research work that The Migraine Trust is currently funding
Neuromodulation in migraine and other headaches
|Grant holder and researcher||Dr Anna Andreou – Primary Investigator, Migraine Trust Senior Research Fellow|
|Researcher||Joseph Lloyd – Migraine Trust PhD Student|
|Period||September 2016 – September 2019|
|Location||Headache Research – Wolfson CARD, 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.
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 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 – 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 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.
Migraine postdrome MRI study
|Grant holder||Professor Peter Goadsby|
|Researcher||Dr Pyari Bose – Migraine Trust Clinical Research Fellow|
|Period||July 2014 – March 2017|
|Location||King’s College Hospital, London|
In 2014 Dr Bose was granted a Migraine Trust Clinical Training Fellowship, which is a career development award that aims to support outstanding neurologists to consolidate and extend their skills in the field of headache and migraine. The fellowship involves a research component whilst studying towards a higher research degree (MD in clinical research) and training as a clinical headache specialist covering migraine management.
With regards to Dr Bose’s research work at King’s College Hospital, the main aim is to study brain activity during the postdrome (recovery) phase of a migraine attack. Special brain scans called arterial spin labelled (ASL) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) are being used to show which brain areas are activated in the recovery phase of migraine. The postdrome (recovery) phase has never been studied in this way before, and is already shedding new light on an aspect of migraine that has been poorly understood. Traditional focus of acute migraine treatment focuses on controlling the throbbing headache, which may represent just the tip of the iceberg. Previous studies have shown brain activity in migraine starts even before the start of the throbbing headache. Dr Bose hopes that the findings of his study may in the future, help direct migraine treatment to the root of the problem rather than the tip and thereby ease the suffering faced by those living with migraine.