Trigeminal Autonomic Cephalalgias (TACs) are highly interesting to me: This group of unilateral, excruciating primary headaches is accompanied by ipsilateral cranial autonomic symptoms and comprises of three major forms:
1. Cluster Headache (CH)
2. Paroxysmal Hemicrania (PH)
3. Short unilateral neuralgiform headache (with conjunctival injection and tearing and cranial autonomic
The borders between the different forms are very fluid and the specific conditions are often misdiagnosed as a strong migraine, causing the patients to suffer significant pain before treatment is started. Which directly links to another problem: The treatment. Oxygen treatment seems ...view middle of the document...
In the British Journal of Pain, Benoliel states: “Cluster headache is likely to have an autosomal dominant gene with low penetrance, present in 3–4% of males and 7–10% of females, but autosomal recessive or multifactorial inheritance may also occur.”
A recent study also found that orexin (or hypocretin), a signaling neuropeptide used by the hypothalamus, is an important part and possible contributor in TACs.
TACs are severe conditions and progress needs to be made to ensure that these diseases are adequately treated and do not cause pain that could be otherwise prevented. I would be thrilled to conduct research on the area of TACs, primary cluster headaches (the most prevalent form) in particular. Access to electroencephalographic tests, MRIs and PETs will be necessary to conduct research in this fascinating field. My research would be incredibly facilitated by the Johns Hopkins Headache Center and the Johns Hopkins Neurology and Neuroscience Center. Furthermore, Professor Snyder would be ideal for mentoring my project since he is involved in research on neurotransmitters, second messengers and drug action in the nervous system. Since I would like to shave a closer look at orexin (or hypocretin), my research would be greatly facilitated by a possible involvement of Professor Snyder’s expertise. More specifically, as a first step, I would like to trace the pathway of orexin in the brain and investigate receptor reactions involved in its pathway. Moreover, in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins Headache Center, I would like to conduct certain experiments with different brain-stimulating factors involved on volunteers.
Furthermore, while I attended the German State School for Gifted Children, I investigated the change in IQ of 32 students that attended the school for at least 3 years. IQ at entrance was provided by the school’s entrance IQ examination. New IQ results were established with the KFT 5-12+R test. Probands also completed a survey on their lifestyle. This research was conducted in collaboration with two trained local psychologists to ensure the validity of the results since IQ results could only be considered as legally correct if calculated by trained psychologists. A change of at least 10.5 points was considered as statistically significant.
The investigation showed interesting tendencies:
Negative correlation: Excessive nicotine consumption and IQ
Positive correlation: Male gender and IQ