A fair amount of research has gone into looking at what happens to the brain during migraine attacks, but not so much investigation has gone into what goes on in your brain before a migraine occurs. Now researchers from King’s College Hospital are looking to find out more about which areas of the brain that are activated before an attack. What goes on during symptoms the patient experiences before the start of a migraine headache (e.g. needing the toilet more, yawning and feeling thirsty), and what happens during the headache pain itself, and throughout the symptoms experienced after the pain has settled (e.g. feeling tired, an inability to pay attention and reduced memory)? The plan is to monitor and find this out by using a form of brain scanning called functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI).
Researchers hope that the study will help them to understand the mechanisms behind the different stages of migraine attacks and this will help to guide any future work looking at treatments that might work early on in attacks – before the pain hits.
Participants in the study will have 3-4 day-long visits to the Clinical Research Facility at King’s College Hospital (for which travel and time will be reimbursed), and during these visits will complete a series of MRI brain scans and clinical and questionnaire assessments to try to correlate clinical observations with their MRI findings.
The study is being funded by The Migraine Trust. For more information on the ongoing study interested parties can e-mail email@example.com
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