Migraine Clinical Trials

Register your interest in upcoming Migraine clinical trials by filling out your contact information and see if you qualify to participate. There is no obligation on your part.

Why Should I Participate?

Many studies may offer the following:

No-cost study-related care from a local physician and/or specialist

Once screened you'll be directed to a local clinic where further evaluation and processing will take place.

No-cost study-related medications

There's no cost to you for potential medications you may receive.

Payment for your time and travel

You may be eligible to receive compensation for reasonable expenses related to your participation.

Chance to help advance medical research

Be at the forefront of medical research and learn about unique opportunities for any condition you may have.

People have different reasons for participating in a clinical trial. In addition to advancing medical research, you may be able to access the very latest research medicines or devices under development.

No health insurance is required, and it’s easy to find out if you may qualify for clinical trials enrolling now.

1Your Details

Quick 1-page signup. Information submitted is confidential.

Your information will only be used to determine your eligibility for clinical trials and will only be shared for that purpose. Read our privacy policy.

This guide is meant to explain what migraines are, what treatments are currently available, and describe the research that is being done in the form of new clinical trials to provide new treatment options for patients.

Definition of Migraine

Migraine is a complex neurological condition which results in varying intensities of headaches associated with different body responses caused by the presence of sound, smell and light. It often begins during childhood and could persist until one reaches adulthood. It can be inherited throughout generations and is therefore considered a genetic disorder.

Around 18% of women and 6% of men are at the risk of getting a migraine [3]. Women are at higher risk due to the fact that menstruation could trigger migraines in some conditions [4]. Therefore its diagnosis and treatment, as well as proper management, becomes quite important. Migraines may be triggered due to certain factors such as meager sleep, hormonal changes, stressful lifestyle and glints of light, noise, certain fragrances or odors [1].

Since migraines affect the mental lifestyle of an individual, anxiety and depression are commonly associated with them. The mental health issues could be so chronic that could lead to suicidal attempts. Thus, migraines affect the overall lifestyle of an individual.

Mechanism of Action

A migraine attack starts in central areas of the brain, which results in the production of early symptoms (aura). The headache phase begins when meningeal nociceptors are activated due to the aura, which is caused by the hypothalamic and brainstem neurons. Trigeminovascular system plays a great role in the manifestation of headaches. However, the exact mechanism through which nociceptors are activated still remains unknown. Apart from that, deficiency of 5-hydroxytriptamine (5-HT) may also play a significant role in the development of migraines.

The repetitive nature of headaches could result in changes on the functionality as well as in the structure of a normal brain, which could lead to the development of a number of diseases.

Migraine Symptoms

Those are classified into two types, based on the presence of pre-headache manifestations such as the aura. Symptoms like depression, food cravings, cranky behavior as well as constipation could be noticed before or during a headache. Migraines without aura are the most common types and account for around 75% of cases whereas migraines with aura account for around 25% of the migraine cases.

Major symptoms include headaches that lasts from a few hours to a few days. Headaches are often associated with nausea, vomiting and other gastrointestinal problems. Since migraines could also have effects on brain functioning, cognitive symptoms associated with them may include difficulty finding words, lack of attention, episodes of memory loss, etc. [1].


It is quite obvious that migraines with aura are easier to detect compared to migraines without it. Major problems associated with the diagnosis of migraines could often be misunderstood as sinusitis, medication overuse or normal headaches. Therefore, proper diagnostic tests should be carried out in order to detect the real issue if one experiences severe headaches. Since migraines affect the structure of the brain, a neuroimaging test could be easily able to detect the presence of those modifications [3]. Studying the pattern and intensity of the headaches along with the symptoms associated with them could be used to detect the type of migraines of an individual.

Migraine Treatments

Migraines could be managed with changes in the lifestyle that include having plenty of sleep, relaxation and a proper diet that includes high fiber intake and low sugary content [3]. Intensity and frequency of symptoms could be lessened by staying away from light and sound. Changes in sleep patterns as well as work routines should be avoided as much as possible, as disruption to routine can exacerbate symptoms.

Medications used for treating the issues associated with migraine focus on modifying brain networks and their functions. There are two types of treatment, as described below:


Acute treatment: Medications of 5-HT1F receptor agonist could also be used to decrease the number of days that the patient manifests migraine symptoms. Analgesic, triptans and ergots could be used to manage the headaches. Suitable medications could be selected by an expert based on the medical history and nature of the patient, intensity of headache and side effects associated. Paracetamol is a preferable choice by medical experts due to its low cost, high availability, minimal side effects as well as effectiveness in treating headaches.

Preventive treatment: Headache caused due to migraine could be controlled with the help of beta blockers such as atenolol, metoprolol and bisoprolol. It has been reported that propranolol shows the highest efficiency in controlling headaches as compared to other beta blockers. Tricyclic antidepressant could be used to control the mental conditions caused by the presence of migraine [2]. Calcium channel modulators, flunarizine and anticonvulsants could also be used to control migraine symptoms.

Future Treatments & Potential Clinical Trials for Migraine

CGRP is a type of neuropeptide responsible for controlling peripheral and central pain circuits. Medications that target the CGRP pathway could be used to relieve the pain on individuals affected by migraines. Current researches have also been focusing on calcitonin gene related peptide and calcium channel abnormalities in order to develop progress in the effective treatment of migraines [4]. Neuromodulation by occipital nerve stimulation with implanted tiny wires could be used to treat chronic migraine [2]. Thus, there are a lot of future options available for the relief of symptoms associated with migraines.

  • 1) Burstein Rami, et. al., “Migraine: Multiple Processes, Complex Pathophysiology”, The Journal of Neuroscience 2015.
  • 2) Shah Bhupendra, Pandey Dipesh,”Migraine Review Article”, European Journal of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Science 2017.
  • 3) Elrington Giles, “MIGRAINE: DIAGNOSIS AND MANAGEMENT”, Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 2002.
  • 4) 1. Puledda Francesca, et. al., “An update on migraine: current understanding and future directions”, Journal of Neurology 2017.

More Info From Wikipedia

A migraine is a primary headache disorder characterized by recurrent headaches that are moderate to severe. Typically, the headaches affect one half of the head, are pulsating in nature, and last from two to 72 hours. Associated symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light, sound, or smell. The pain is generally made worse by physical activity. Up to one-third of people have an aura: typically a short period of visual disturbance that signals that the headache will soon occur. Occasionally, an aura can occur with little or no headache following it.

Migraines are believed to be due to a mixture of environmental and genetic factors. About two-thirds of cases run in families. Changing hormone levels may also play a role, as migraines affect slightly more boys than girls before puberty and two to three times more women than men. The risk of migraines usually decreases during pregnancy. The underlying mechanisms are not fully known. They are, however, believed to involve the nerves and blood vessels of the brain.

No treatments stop or reverse its progression, though some may temporarily improve symptoms. Affected people increasingly rely on others for assistance, often placing a burden on the caregiver. The pressures can include social, psychological, physical, and economic elements. Exercise programs may be beneficial with respect to activities of daily living and can potentially improve outcomes. Behavioural problems or psychosis due to dementia are often treated with antipsychotics, but this is not usually recommended, as there is little benefit with an increased risk of early death.

Globally, approximately 15% of people are affected by migraines. It most often starts at puberty and is worst during middle age. In some women, they become less common following menopause. As of 2016, it is one of the most common causes of disability. An early description consistent with migraines is contained in the Ebers papyrus, written around 1500 BCE in ancient Egypt. The word "migraine" is from the Greek ἡμικρανία (hemikrania), "pain on one side of the head", from ἡμι- (hemi-), "half", and κρανίον (kranion), "skull".

Initial recommended treatment is with simple pain medication such as ibuprofen and paracetamol (acetaminophen) for the headache, medication for the nausea, and the avoidance of triggers. Specific medications such as triptans or ergotamines may be used in those for whom simple pain medications are not effective. Caffeine may be added to the above. A number of medications are useful to prevent attacks including metoprolol, valproate, and topiramate.

Source: Wikipedia - Migraine

Page last reviewed 5/6/2019

Important Information

This site is designed to provide information about clinical trials and on how you can find out if you qualify for one. Before deciding to participate in a clinical research study, it’s important that you understand the research study and clinical research in general so that you can make an informed decision. Please read our Frequently Asked Questions to learn more.