University of Washington

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

Current Research Studies: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

In addition to research done through the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Model System of Care, the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine is currently conducting the following TBI studies:

Treatment With Sumatriptan for TBI Headache (TWIST)

The TWIST Study will be investigating how people experience their headaches and whether treatment with Sumatriptan (also known by the brand name, Imitrex™) is effective in treating post-traumatic headache pain in people who have had a mild (with adequate documentation), moderate and severe TBI. Since 1991, Sumatriptan has been FDA approved and can be prescribed to treat migraine headache in the general population; so Sumatriptan itself is not new, but using it in the TBI population is new.

The mechanism of post-traumatic headache (PTH) is not well understood. PTH may come in many forms, often including tension-type pain and intermittent migraine-like attacks.  Once post-traumatic headaches occurs, the cycle of ongoing headaches can be more complicated and difficult to treat. However, if treatment is started early, posttraumatic headache may not become a permanent problem. Because we want to see if the medication will work early after injury, enrollment for this study will take place between 3—24  months after brain injury and is for people who are having between 4-15 headaches per month.  Participants in this project will track their headaches using a headache diary (daily questions about activities and headache characteristics).

For more information about participating in the study, please see Studies Seeking Volunteers, or contact:
Leslie Kempthorne, Study Coordinator
206.543.0219 [Note that we cannot ensure confidentiality via email]

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