Greg Weir, a PhD student at the MRC Functional Genomics Unit, explains why he’s turning to stem cells to investigate migraine in his shortlisted article for the Max Perutz Science Writing Award 2012.
What does migraine mean to you? Maybe it is only a mild inconvenience in your life, making a friend cancel on dinner or extra work for you as a colleague calls in sick … again. Or perhaps it means more to you. Perhaps it means hallucinatory visions followed by hours of pain that leave you bedridden and seeking sanctuary in the darkness. For me, it means something else as well. For me it means something frustrating, something exciting and a totally absorbing challenge. I’m a PhD student researching the causes of migraine.
The first thing I must do is convince you that migraine is worthy of research. No doubt this will be an easy task when it comes to the 18% of women and 6% of men who are themselves “migraineurs.” However, for those who do not suffer sporadic, intense headaches that can last several days, a hard financial fact might do the job. In theUSAalone migraine costs around $14 billion annually in direct medical costs and indirectly through lost work. Read more