Pediatric Migraine

Study Goals

The goal of this research study is to examine brain changes associated with migraine in children, adolescents and young adults. This may provide critical understanding of how migraines may affect normal brain development over the formative years of a person’s life.  Studying the migraine brain during the critical transitional period from child to adult may lead to new measures for the prognosis of the condition and identify new treatment targets in the early stages of migraine.

Our Approach

We use Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to measure changes in brain structure, connectivity, and blood flow in patients with migraines. We also administer psychological questionnaires regarding pubertal status, pain levels and emotions.

Eligibility to Participate

Seeking 7-26 year olds with a history of migraines.  Healthy 7-26 year old individuals are also eligible to participate in the control group of the study.

Study Visit Overview

The study visit takes place at Boston Children’s Hospital in Waltham (9 Hope Avenue).  The study visit is comprised of 4 parts and will take approximately 3 hours.  It includes the following:

  1. A short neurological evaluation by our study physician (~15 minutes)
  2. Completing questionnaires (~1 hour)
  3. A temperature sensitivity test (~15 minutes)
  4. An MRI (~1 hour)


Participants will receive a $100 (if under 18 years of age) or $120 (if over 18) gift card for their participation.  All participants will also receive a  picture of their brain from the MRI scan.


This study is supported by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and by the Anesthesia Research Distinguished Trailblazer Award – received from the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine.

Project Update

Subject recruitment is now closed for this study and analysis is underway. Thank you for your interest in this program.