I completed a Bachelor of Science majoring in Neuroscience at the University of Sydney which sparked my interest in neurological conditions and their brain pathways. This curiosity and enjoyment in research led to the completion of my Honours degree in migraine pain for which I was awarded a first class. Throughout my honours year, I learned about the debilitating nature of the migraine condition that affects the quality of life for so many individuals in the community.
This research thesis involved the collection and analysis of anatomical human Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans (MRI) in order to gain a greater understanding about the pathophysiology of migraine. My career aspirations are firmly embedded in the field of Neuroscience, particularly migraine research and I have recently enrolled as a PhD candidate to pursue this goal.
Chronic migraine is a debilitating disorder in which individuals suffer with a minimum of 15 headaches a month, with at least 8 of them satisfying the criteria for a migraine headache. Despite this condition affecting approximately 350,000 Australians, we currently know very little about the underlying neural mechanisms responsible for this disorder. The current project aims to use ultra-high field Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) (7T) to explore brain function in individuals with chronic migraine compared with migraine-free controls.
The overall aim of my PhD project is to explore functional and structural brain changes associated with chronic migraine to determine the underlying neural changes that may result in an individual developing chronic migraine. By understanding the underlying neural mechanisms, we aim to develop treatment strategies directed at reversing or eliminating the transformation of episodic migraine into chronic migraine, and thus to relieve individuals from the burden of chronic migraine.
Supervisors: Professor Luke Henderson