Lancaster University

This is archived news from Lancaster University. You can find up-to-date stories in our current news section.


09/10/2002 10:29:47

Lancaster University's Department of Psychology is amongst the top ranking Psychology Departments in the United Kingdom in terms of its research and teaching.

As a result of a ten-year collaboration with neurologists and psychologists in the United States of America and the Netherlands, the Psychology department has made significant contributions to the understanding of the pathophysiology of migraine. Now scientists in the department are looking for volunteers willing to help in a major new piece of research into migraines funded by an award from the Dr Hadwen Trust for Humane Research late last year. Approval from the Morecambe Bay Research Ethics Committee has been granted and the department is now in a position to begin conducting the research.

Previous work by Dr Ed Chronicle and his colleagues has shown that the part of the brain involved with vision appears to be especially sensitive in migraine sufferers. As a result, the brain seems to be more likely to 'misbehave' and give rise to an attack of migraine. The new research seeks to explore this idea further: the results may help us to understand how migraine attacks can be prevented. Volunteers will simply be asked to recall series of letters which will be flashed on a screen in front of them. At the same time, the visual part of their brains will be stimulated with a technique known as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). This technique is safe, non-invasive and is not painful.

The Department is looking for migraine sufferers who experience an aura, such as visual dots, flashes or ziz-zags, before the migraine pain starts, as well as those who do not experience any aura.. Anyone between 18 and 65 years of age, who is in good general health, and has good eyesight (with or without spectacles) can be considered. Reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed.

For further information, please contact Dr Jane Pearson on 01524 593100.