Published: 06-07-2023 16:26 | Updated: 06-07-2023 16:49

KI researchers receive funding from the Swedish Brain Foundation for vital brain research

illustration of a hand holding a looking glass over a brain.
Image: Mohamed Hassan, Pixabay.

Each year, the Swedish Brain Foundation supports qualified research on the brain and other nervous systems, as well as diseases, injuries, and disabilities throughout the nervous system. Andrea Carmine Belin runs one of the 44 research projects at Karolinska Institutet that have been awarded this year's research grant from the Swedish Brain Foundation.

Croped portrait of Caroline Ran and Andrea Carmine Belin.
Andrea Carmine Belin. Photo: Stefan Zimmerman

Cluster headache is a neurological disease that affects between 5,000 and 10,000 people in Sweden and that leads to intense headaches with attacks that come in relapses, so-called clusters. In comparison to migraines, the attacks are shorter, lasting between a quarter of an hour and up to three hours, and can occur several times a day. The pain is often described as extreme. So far, there is no cure.

“I’m very happy and proud of the continuous support we have received for our research on cluster headache from the Swedish Brain Foundation”, says Andrea Carmine Belin, principal researcher at the Department of Neuroscience who has also set up the world’s first centre specializing in cluster headaches.

The grant will be used to study which disease mechanisms give rise to cluster headache to facilitate the identification of new drug targets and the development of more effective and individualized treatments or even a cure.

“We focus on heredity and for these studies we use the biobank we have established consisting of biological tissue and clinical and lifestyle data from patients with cluster headache and controls”, Andrea Carmine Belin adds.

In addition to cluster headaches, this year's award from the Swedish Brain Foundation goes to research projects in areas such as ALS, Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases, Alzheimer's disease, the Child and Adolescent Brain, Addiction, CNS damage, depression, brain function, brain tumor, MS, memory, pain, stroke, eating disorders and other psychiatry.