GPs with Extended Role in Headache met at Kings

GPs with extended role in Headache met recently to hear about new research happening at Kings. Dr Marcus Lewis gives an overview of the day.

Migraine Advances take centre stage at BASH GPwER study day

As a GP with an Extended Role in headache, I always look forward to BASH's meetings. They provide a welcome opportunity to connect with colleagues across disciplines and get updates on the latest migraine research and clinical developments. This month's gathering at the Wolfson Sensory Pain and Regeneration Centre (SPaRC) at King's College London didn't disappoint.

On the Science Front

We kicked things off delving into the biological drivers of migraine with Dr. Phil Holland. His team's work exploring factors like kisspeptin, a hormone that surges during puberty, provided a hypothesis into why migraine prevalence differs by gender after adolescence.

Using innovative brain imaging techniques, they're also mapping the neurological changes underlying the premonitory phase of migraine attacks - the symptoms that often manifest hours before the headache strikes.

It's providing a much clearer picture of what is happening in the brain in the lead up to an attack.

Dr Holland also outlined some intriguing chronobiology theories around potential timing mismatches between peak CGRP levels and when migraines typically occur. While still hypotheses, they hint at new therapeutic pathways worth exploring.

Exploring New Care Models

But the meeting expanded well beyond just the bench science. Dr. David Kernick shared details about his innovative course that blends medical management with more holistic components like patient narrative work, lifestyle optimisation, and even practices like Reiki.

Is AI the way forward for Healthcare?

There was also a presentation around leveraging artificial intelligence and language models to assist clinicians in their work and perhaps in future enhance clinical decision support. While still nascent, you can see the potential it holds for assisting clinicians.

[Editor's note: This paper might be of interest to learn more about AI in Healthcare. Click here]

Building Primary Care Capacity

Of course, any care model is only as good as your ability to implement it consistently. That's why Dr. Rachel Kilner's talk on building more opportunities for headache experience into GP training resonated so strongly.

a lady standing at a lectern
Dr Rachel Kilner explained how ITP posts might work

As she pointed out, primary care managing the bulk of these patients, yet formal headache training is frequently lacking. Her proposal to develop Integrated GP training posts focused on headache could seriously move the needle in terms of access and quality.

Uniting Through BASH

Listening to all the brilliant minds, I was reminded of what a unique community BASH represents. We're an association of GPs, specialists, nurses, therapists, researchers, and more - all united by a driving passion to advance migraine care and improve patient outcomes.

Whether you're most engaged with foundational molecular biology, novel treatment approaches, applied AI, primary care transformation, or any other facet of this space, there's a place for your voice and contributions at BASH. It's an incredibly rich environment for interdisciplinary collaboration and cross-pollination of ideas.

The Path Ahead

The overriding takeaway was one of optimism about the future of headache medicine. Clearly, there's no shortage of complexities and challenges to navigate. But this BASH meeting showcased a field positively buzzing with scientific progress, out-of-the-box thinking about care delivery, workforce capacity-building initiatives, and more.

By staying engaged with BASH and each other, we're helping write the next chapter - shaping a brighter future for the millions impacted by migraine worldwide. I look forward to continuing that vital work together.

Dr Marcus Lewis, GPwER in Headache

To find out more about our GPwER group, click here.

Future study days can be found on our Events page.

If you are using AI in your clinical work, we'd love to hear more about it in the Forum discussion area.

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GPs with Extended Role in Headache met at Kings
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