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Project information

Hypothalamic-thalamic interactions in migraine

The lack of effective, migraine specific treatments for patients reflects our limited understanding of what happens in the brain during a migraine attack. This research will investigate what happens in the brain, which could lead to new migraine specific treatments targeting specific brain areas.

November 2012 - November 2015

Charity information: The Migraine Trust

The Migraine Trust logo
  • Need


    The lack of effective, migraine specific treatments for patients reflects our limited understanding of what happens in the brain during an attack. Recent studies show that a dysfunction of the hypothalamus, an area of the brain involved in behavioural and hormonal circadian rhythms, is involved in migraine. Further research has demonstrated an important role of another area of the brain, the thalamus, in the development of both pain and sensory abnormalities during a migraine attack.


    This project investigates how the hypothalamus and the thalamus interact, related to the development of head pain, aura, sensitivity to light and sound during a migraine. Additionally, how different drugs, which can act within these two key brain areas, may interact with the initiation and development of a migraine.

    The study will shed light on the sequence of events leading to a migraine and create an opportunity for further research into migraine treatments acting on specific brain areas.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Conduct research into what happens in the brain during a migraine attack.


    » Fund research into migraine.

    What success will look like

    Fund research into this area of migraine.

  • Impact


    This project will teach us more about what goes on in the brain during a migraine attack. This will help researchers to develop more effective treatments targeting specific areas of the brain involved in a migraine attack.


    There is a risk that we will not receive enough funding for all three years. We have dealt with this by providing some of the funding from our own resources and seeking the outstanding funds from a wide range of sources.


    We will report the results of this project via our website, ebulletin and our journal Migraine News.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £195,175

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £151,154 Salary cost Salary and associated costs of researcher over three years
      £44,021 Research costs All laboratory consumables, including the purchase and maintenance of animals.

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    The Migraine Trust £60,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The project is taking place at Imperial College London.


    Migraine sufferers will benefit from this project as it will potentially lead to the development of more effective migraine treatments

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Migraine Trust is the UK's leading migraine charity. Established in 1965 specifically to fund migraine research, we are the only UK charity which is currently funding any research into migraine.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Dr Anna Andreou

    Dr Andreou is the researcher carrying out this research.