Migraine is a complex neurological disorder characterised by recurrent episodes of disabling headache and associated symptoms. It is one of the most common neurological disorders, with estimates suggesting that it affects up to 12% of the population. The impact of migraine on individuals’ lives can be substantial, with a significant reduction in overall quality of life, increased absenteeism from work or school, and an increased risk for depression and anxiety. While the biological mechanisms underlying migraine are not fully understood, there is evidence that behaviours can play a role in triggering attacks and influencing their severity.
In order to better understand and predict the behaviours associated with migraine attacks, our lab has identified a set of research questions to answer in collaboration with the Healint team providing the MigraineBuddy – an award-winning app-based migraine headache diary and tracking platform. This platform helps users record their triggers, symptoms, medication intake, frequency, and duration of headaches, pain intensity, and location, as well as other lifestyle factors. By leveraging this data to develop models for predicting future behaviour patterns, we hope to improve the self-management of migraine conditions. We are lucky to have Professor Andreas Kleinschmidt – Head of the Neurology Department at the University of Geneva Hospitals and the University of Geneva – as our clinical collaborator on this project.
To answer our research questions, we have designed a series of studies using the MigraineBuddy platform and advanced wearables. The first study (funded for 2024), will leverage self-reports and wearables to analyse the data collected by users in order to better understand their behaviours and identify potential triggers while noting all human factors that may influence the wearables’ acceptance and the collected data quality. In the future, we are also planning to develop predictive models to determine which behaviours are most likely to lead to migraine attacks and how changes in behaviour can influence attack severity. Based on these, we will be researching developing personalised interventions and treatments by identifying user-specific patterns and predicting individual responses to various therapies.
Our overall findings will be used to inform public health policies for the management of migraine, and ultimately improve the quality of life for those affected by this condition. We believe that this research project has the potential to truly revolutionise how migraine is managed in clinical practice as well as in everyday life. With Professor Kleinschmidt’s expertise and support, we aim to develop evidence-based solutions that will enable people suffering from migraine headaches to better understand and manage their condition.
University of Geneva, Switzerland
Prof. Katarzyna Wac, GSEM, CUI, QoL Technologies Lab Director
University of Geneva Hospitals & University of Geneva, Switzerland
Prof. Andreas Kleinschmidt, MD, Chief of the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Head of the Neurology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Geneva University Hospitals, Switzerland
Study recruitment: https://www.qualityoflifetechnologies.com/living-lab/mobile-apps/migraine/