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Approved research

Identifying coincident drugs that alter headache progression and remission.

Principal Investigator: Dr Anthony Nash
Approved Research ID: 41284
Approval date: December 12th 2018

Lay summary

In this study, we will describe patterns of prescribed headache treatment use, the potential for headache relapse after a treatment and we will examine records of drugs, not used in migraine treatment and that have been prescribed to assess whether this treatment is associated with the resolution of headaches. We also aim to yield genetic diversity amongst headache patients with commonly associated comorbidities, such as hypertension and anxiety, with less common but conditions of recent interest, such as type II diabetes. Migraine is a debilitating headache disorder, ranked by the World Health Organization as one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. Headache disorders are one of the commonest reasons a person will see a GP. Most patients seeing their GP for headache will have migraine and there is a significant unmet medical need for migraine treatments. In a recent whole-country cohort study, an indication of type II diabetes had a protective association to an indication of headache. Many of the drugs presently used in migraine have been repurposed for example, propranolol is commonly used to treat hypertension but has confirmed efficacy in migraine prevention. It is likely that several other marketed drugs will also be efficacious and our study aims to use real-world data to identify candidate migraine therapeutics. Whether these protective outcomes are physiological or pharmacological remains unclear. We expect the project to take approximately eight months. We have in-house expertise in electronic health record curation, clinical epidemiology, genomics and drug target/mode of action. Currently, migraine can be treated with acute analgesics, including NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug), triptans or with migraine preventatives, such as topiramate. However, many migraine sufferers are prone to develop intolerable side effects or in some cases, the migraine does not respond to treatment. Our study has the potential to pave the way towards a rapid and cost-effective way of providing new treatments for migraine sufferers.