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First UK participant recruited to the ALLEVIATE study at NIHR PRC: Newcastle


The UK’s first participant has been recruited into a study at NIHR PRC: Newcastle which is investigating a new treatment for cluster headaches.  The participant was signed up to the ALLEVIATE study on Tuesday 9 November 2021. 

Cluster headaches are excruciating attacks of pain in one side of the head, often felt around the eye.  Sufferers experience episodes lasting weeks to months of excruciating headaches, which can have a huge impact on their day-to-day life. 

The new treatment, Eptinezumab, is a monoclonal antibody- a protein that targets a substance in the body called calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). Increased levels of CGRP are associated with both migraine and cluster headaches and it has been shown that cluster headache attacks can be triggered by an infusion of CGRP. 

Eptinezumab has already been used, and shows good results, for the treatment of migraine. The theory behind the use of Eptinezumab in episodic cluster headache is that by inhibiting CGRP, it will reduce the severity and number of cluster headache attacks.

Dr Paul Dorman, Principal Investigator for this study said: “Research is key to finding new treatments and cures for people who experience cluster headaches.  We can see from the speed at which we recruited our first patient at PRC: Newcastle that there is an appetite amongst our patients to actively participate in research in this area. We hope that together we can find an effective treatment to relieve the debilitating symptoms that many people suffer with.”   

Professor Yan Yiannakou, Clinical Director at NIHR PRC: Newcastle said: “I’d like to congratulate Dr Dorman and the team for recruiting the first UK patient onto the ALLEVIATE study.  

“This is one of three commercial studies investigating headaches and migraine that are being delivered at PRC: Newcastle. These conditions are an area of special interest for the centre due to the available clinical expertise and experience. We are keen to deliver more commercial research in this area "

Dr Dorman is a consultant neurologist with a specialist interest in chronic headache disorders. He completed a visiting educational programme at the world renowned Jefferson Headache Clinic in Philadelphia and subsequently founded a specialist headache service for patients in the North East at the RVI. 

Visit our studies page to find out more about ALLEVIATE and how to take part.