US-Kent research aims to find a new treatment for migraine

4th March 2013

A University of Kent-led clinical trial that aims to discover a potential new treatment for migraine through non-invasive neuro-stimulation is set to commence during late summer 2012.

Led by Dr David Wilkinson from the University’s School of Psychology, the study will form part of a multi-centre randomised controlled trial that also involves Duke Medical School (USA) and the San Diego Naval Medical Centre. The research is funded (£92,000) by Scion NeuroStim LLC, a US medical device company.

Dr Wilkinson will be assisted by Dr Mo Sakel, a consultant physician in neuro-rehabilitation and an honorary senior lecturer in the School of Psychology. If successful, Dr Sakel envisages that the trial will be extended to other forms of headache.

For many sufferers, migraine is a refractory and disabling condition that significantly impacts their quality of life. The individuals targeted by Dr Wilkinson’s study will be those with relatively severe symptoms who experience between four and nine migraines a month.

Dr Wilkinson said: ‘Although the effectiveness of neuro-modulation therapy for migraines is reasonably well-established, conventional methods involve surgical implantation and are typically used as a method of last resort. In conjunction with our commercial collaborators, we anticipate changing this paradigm by means of a portable device that can be self-administered at home and which can be cheaply manufactured for use in developing healthcare economies.’

The study will add to Dr Wilkinson’s portfolio of neuro-stimulation research which has attracted widespread attention as well as support from the Medical Research Council, British Academy and local NHS hospital trust for work with other types of neurological patient.





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