Migraines account for 7 million lost working days a year in Canada – and that doesn’t begin to calculate their impact on quality of life for the almost 3 million Canadians who suffer from them. Migraine is one of the most under-treated neurological pain conditions in the world, and often begins to affect people at the peak of their lives, when they’re finishing school, establishing a career, or starting a family.
Dr. Corrie Graboski is teaming up with Island Health’s Clinical Trials Unit to support two migraine clinical trials offering new treatment options to patients.
Dr. Graboski is a physiatrist who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation, with a particular interest in headaches. She’s trained to treat chronic headaches using several techniques, including Botox injections, and has been involved in many clinical trials for chronic migraine treatment.
“This is an exciting time in headache research,” says Dr. Graboski. An entirely new class of migraine medication is being developed and studied. CGRP inhibitors block the effect of CGRP, a specific peptide (small protein) prevalent in the sensory nerves of the head and neck. CGRP is involved in pain transmission, and levels increase during a migraine. One of the new studies will evaluate participants’ health and experience using a drug that blocks CGRP receptors. The other study (named PROGESS) will evaluate whether the drug Atogepant can reduce or prevent chronic migraines, and will begin enrolling participants before the end of this year.
“I have been fortunate to connect with Island Health’s Clinical Trials Unit to support some of my recent studies, and I look forward to studying new treatments that may help the many patients who suffer from migraine,” says Dr. Graboski.
Karen Coles is the Clinical Research Nurse leading the migraine studies. She’ll work with Dr. Graboski to enroll participants, gather and report data, and ensure patient safety at every stage of the research.
The Clinical Trials Unit is part of Island Health’s Research and Capacity Building Department and supports physicians like Dr. Graboski to conduct clinical trials, including applying for research ethics and institutional approval; negotiating contracts and developing budgets; enrolling eligible participants and seeing patients for study visits; and collecting and reporting data. The Unit ensures all clinical trials conducted at Island Health meet national and international standards for safety and compliance, and provides training and education for interested physicians.
Intrigued? To learn more about the Clinical Trials Unit or research at Island Health, email Manager Sheilah.Frost@viha.ca