Project ID NS-MH2023_29


Co Supervisor 1A IoPPN/Wolfson CARDWebsite

Co Supervisor 1B IoPPN/NeuroimagingWebsite

Translational approaches to study neural networks in migraine and sleep

Migraine is the leading cause of years lost to disability in young females, impacting over 1-billion people globally. Sleep, under the regulation of circadian and light-dark cycles is intrinsically linked with migraine, with sleep disruption a commonly reported migraine trigger. We have demonstrated that alteration of sleep, circadian and light processing enhances migraine-related pain processing in rodents and now seek to develop novel translational tools to explore the underlying neuronal circuitry responsible.

The project will:
1. Map the specific neuronal circuits that underlie the shared pathobiology of sleep and migraine to include the intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cell circuits (0-12 months).
2. Develop novel translational tools (e.g. EEG; (months 0-12) to monitor neuronal circuit alterations during migraine and sleep disruption (months 8-24).
3. Explore intervention strategies (e.g. pharmacological/chemogenetics) to uncover novel therapeutic targets (months 24 -36) that can be translated into the clinic.

Key translational aspects will be explored via established clinical collaborations as appropriate. The successful student will develop state-of-the-art in-vivo technologies including surgical, EEG, electrophysiology, viral tract tracing, chemogenetic and behavioural approaches, ensuring they master a number of highly desirable specialist skills above and beyond standard laboratory procedures. As this is a detailed in-vivo project, the candidate will be required to obtain a Home Office personal licence (months 0-3).

One representative publication from each co-supervisor:

Vila-Pueyo et al. Divergent influences of the locus coeruleus on migraine pathophysiology (2019). Pain. 160(2):385-394. PMID: 30371556. DOI: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001421

Gelegen, C., Cash, D., Ilic, K. et al. Relevance of sleep and associated structural changes in GBA1 mouse to human rapid eye movement behaviour disorder. Sci Rep 12, 7973 (2022).