Griffith University lecturer Natalie Colson has a little headache with part of her

An expert in migraine gene studies Dr Colson wants to expand her knowledge of the

debilitating condition and explore its origins and effects in children.

Her little problem comes in the form of little recruits.

“I’ve found it very hard to find parents who will put their children forward for the

study which is totally dependent on child participants completing a questionnaire and

giving an individual saliva sample,” said Dr Colson.

“I think sometimes people do get nervous about DNA. But nothing we do is

identifiable. We are looking at mutations. The research is genetic and non-invasive.”

About 500 children aged between five and 12 are required for the Griffith Health

Institute project, led by Dr Colson. Kids who do not suffer from migraines are needed

as well as those who do for the comparative study.

Dr Colson says that up to one in 10 children suffer from migraine, sometimes

manifested in stomach pain.

“Child migraines are very real, they don’t just occur in adults.

“We want to find out if the genes implicated in adult migraine are also implicated in

child migraine.”

A questionnaire and consent form are sent to parents and when they are sent back, a

saliva kit is posted out.

“The more children we can get to participate, the more we can research certain

characteristics and triggers of migraines in children.”

Anyone interested in taking part in the study can contact Dr Colson on 5552 9075 or

email her at [email protected]