National Migraine Centre

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Coordinates: 51°31′14″N 0°06′01″W / 51.520527°N 0.100414°W / 51.520527; -0.100414

National Migraine Centre
National Migraine Centre official logo.jpg
Established 1980
Type Research and outpatient centre
Chief executive Ms Heather Sim
Location 226 Walmer Road
W11 4ET
Staff more than 10
Publication [1]
Website National Migraine Centre

The National Migraine Centre (formerly the City of London Migraine Clinic) is a specialist treatment centre for migraine and other primary headaches. The clinic also carries out extensive research and education to improve treatment and awareness.

The Clinic has three main objectives to:

  • Provide treatment to all sufferers of migraine and other headaches
  • Conduct, promote and publish research into the causes, treatment and alleviation of migraine and other headaches
  • Share knowledge through training, lecturing and publications

It is located in Charterhouse Square in the London Borough of Islington and has more than 35 years of experience in solving headaches. They have a team of registered doctors with a special interest in headaches providing specialist care in a charitable setting. It is a registered charity and social enterprise and is independent of the National Health Service (NHS), though they work with the NHS by offering their "specialist headache services."[1] Most of the facility patients live in London and the Home Counties but patients come from other parts of the UK and abroad.[2]

The clinic is the only independent, charitable clinic in the world entirely focused on headaches and migraines.[3]


The Clinic was founded by Dr Nat Blau and Dr Marcia Wilkinson in 1980[4] as an independent registered medical charity affiliated with St Bartholomew's Hospital. The Clinic initially provided a 'walk in' service for patients during an acute migraine attack and acted as a research centre into the causes and better treatment of migraine. Research undertaken on these patients led to the identification of an effective acute therapy with aspirin and metoclopramide that is now offered as a standard line of management.

Dr Wilkinson won the first Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Award, presented at the Headache World 2000 meeting in London.[5] The previous Medical Director Anne MacGregor won the same award in 2002.

Dr Manjit Matharu was recently appointed as National Migraine Centre’s new Honorary Director of Research. Manjit Matharu is a senior lecturer and honorary consultant neurologist at the Institute of Neurology and The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.



The National Migraine Centre provides a team of specialist doctors who give advice on the management of migraine and other headaches, including cluster headaches. The clinic prides itself on quality care and provides patients with significantly longer appointment times than would be found elsewhere to allow a thorough approach.[6]


As a result of their research studies, standard treatments have been developed that are recommended by the British Association for the Study of Headache (BASH) and used worldwide. They are the only centre specialising in research and management of migraine in women in the world.New drug and non-drug treatments are tested in clinical trials enabling patients to participate; there is also comparative research into established treatments.[7] They have also looked into the benefits of feverfew in the past through several trials.[8][9]


The Clinic is a renowned teaching centre, giving regular lectures to the medical community as well as the lay public. The Clinic's specialists also train year 2 and year 4 medical students of Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry and supervise year 4 medical students on their dissertations on migraine. It works closely with national and international lay and professional organisations and countless scientific papers and publications for the general public have been produced by the Clinic.


Patients are not charged for the clinic's services, however a charitable donation is requested from all patients. Those who feel that they are of limited means can opt to donate less.[10]

The clinic receives some funding from drug companies for research and trials as well as one-off donations from commercial organisations, trusts and other donors.[11]

The clinic does not receive funding from the NHS, however NHS doctors do refer patients to utilise their specialist headaches and migraine expertise.[2]


  1. ^ "Ivan Lewis announces £27m extra for Social Enterprise", eGovMonitor, Department of Health, February 27, 2008
  2. ^ a b Morris, Zoe, "Migraine clinic faces axe over cash crisis", The Evening Standard, June 11, 2001
  3. ^ Oliver, Sarah, "Stop the painkillers. Stop the pain", The Daily Telegraph, June 15, 2009
  4. ^ "Obituaries" (PDF). British Medical Journal. Retrieved 7 September 2010. 
  5. ^ "Female Headache Expert Honoured With First Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Award". World Headache Alliance. Retrieved 7 September 2010. 
  6. ^ "Our Philosophy of Care « National Migraine Centre". Retrieved 2010-09-08. 
  7. ^ "Drug 'eases migraine with fewer side effects'", Daily Mail, April 22, 2010
  8. ^ "Feverfew prevents migraine", New Scientist, Sep 5, 1985
  9. ^ "Natural Products", Wolff's headache and other head pain By Harold George Wolff, Stephen D. Silberstein, Richard B. Lipton, Donald J. Dalessio, Oxford University Press US, 2001
  10. ^ "Patient FAQ « National Migraine Centre". Retrieved 2010-09-08. 
  11. ^ "How We’re Funded" "Funding « City of London Migraine Clinic" Check |url= value (help). 

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