Participants wanted for novel migraine trial

A team of neurologists in the North of England are conducting a trial of a novel migraine treatment which uses a ‘cooling device’.

Current treatments for people with migraines do not always work and can cause side effects; there is an unmet need for new treatment options.

The trial is open to residents across the North East and Cumbria and is looking for 90 participants from across the regions.

This study is looking for people that have had one to 15 migraines a month (episodic migraine) for over a year and have had no changes to their migraine medication in the last three months. Participants should be aged 18 to 70 with no history of heart disease and no current or planned pregnancy.

The BrainCool-Migraine trial aims to see how effective a treatment called ‘intra-nasal evaporative cooling’ is at helping to reduce the headache pain often associated with migraine.

The treatment works by introducing cooling into the passageways of the nose through two small cannulas. It is believed that this cooling may cause blood vessels surrounding the brain to narrow, thus relieving the pain and symptoms of migraine. The cooling may also directly affect cell-signalling in the brain, which may stop a migraine headache.

“Among adults of all ages, migraine is one of the top 20 causes of disability. It is becoming increasingly important to find novel, drug-free, methods to treat migraine headache. A recent pilot trial has shown that ‘intra-nasal cooling’ appears to be an effective, quick and well-tolerated treatment. Our team is now starting a larger ‘randomised’ clinical trial to provide further evidence of benefit from this application,” said Dr Jitka Vanderpol, who is leading the trial.

Participants who meet the criteria will be asked to complete a questionnaire relating to their migraines for a month to further assess if they can receive the new treatment. After this period, if suitable, participants will be given either a ‘BrainCool’ device or a ‘dummy’ device (placebo) for use during their next three migraines and will be asked to record some more information.

The study is now live and is planned to conclude by mid 2018, with participation lasting three to four months.

If you are interested in getting involved in this research and would like more information, please email: or ring 07920 288244 / 01228 603145.