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Migraine Research Foundation Announces Recipients of 2011 Grants

The Migraine Research Foundation, which raises funds to research the causes and mechanisms of migraine, improve treatments, and find a cure for this little-understood but debilitating illness, has announced the recipients of their 2011 grants. From the MRF:

This year’s grantees will explore ground-breaking inquiries in the areas of chronic migraine treatment, genetic sequencing and basic science. In addition to these research projects, MRF has awarded a grant to award-winning filmmakers Jacki Ochs and Susanna Styron to help fund their feature-length documentary, The Migraine Project.

The four grants were selected from 34 proposals submitted from around the world and represent innovative approaches to unraveling the mysteries of migraine in different ways.

MRF’s 2011 research grantees are:

Andrea Antal, PhD and Walter Paulus, MD
Georg-August University,Göttingen, Germany
Transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation for the  Acute Treatment of Migraine
Studying the effects of inhibitory transcranial alternating current stimulation as an effective non-pharmaceutical acute treatment for chronic migraine.

F. Michael Cutrer, MD
The Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
Whole Exome Sequencing as a Strategy for Gene Discovery in a Large Well Characterized Family with Migraine
Using the newest sequencing technology for gene discovery in migraine.

Michael S. Gold, PhD
University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Calcium Activated Chloride Channels as a Novel Target for the Treatment of Migraine
Determining the molecular identity of the ion channels that underlie pain receptor sensitization and blocking them as a first step in the development of a novel target for migraine treatment.

Jacki Ochs and Susanna Styron
Human Arts Association, New York, NY
The Migraine Project

A feature length documentary designed to increase awareness and understanding of migraine for a world-wide audience.

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Life and Migraine: A Documentary of Our Reality

A superb glimpse into how much migraine affects people with the disorder, Life and Migraine is compelling and thorough. This documentary will raise the awareness of everyone who watches it and is likely to light a fire under those living with undiagnosed migraine — which is about half of the approximately 30 million migraineurs.

Through interview clips with 13 patients, the reality of our misery comes into full view for sufferers and non-sufferers alike. These snapshots are combined with a dramatized “day in the life” of a woman with migraine, from waking up to trying to work, to visiting an unsympathetic doctor, to a trip to the ER, which results in absolutely no abatement of the pain.

In the fictional experience, nausea and sensitivity to light are depicted as awful parts of a migraine. Combined with the stories of real patients, who talk about some of the other symptoms (including word loss and mental fogginess), viewers learn that this isn’t “just a headache.”

The DVD, which includes a 30-minute broadcast version and the hour-long full film, can be purchased online. International distribution will begin in the next couple weeks; until then it is only available to US residents. Future plans for distribution include public television, headache clinics, schools, pharmacies and a medical book distributor.

Still not convinced? Take a look at the film preview and read endorsements from the National Headache Foundation, American Headache Society and World Headache Alliance.