Mrs Maria Eliza Aguila

Postgraduate Fellow, Physiotherapy

Telephone 9351 9010

Website Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Disorders

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Thesis work

Thesis title: Understanding Migraine

Supervisors: Jim LAGOPOULOS , Andrew LEAVER , Kathryn REFSHAUGE , Patrick BRENNAN , Trudy REBBECK

Thesis abstract:

Better characterisation of migraine is critical to enhancing its diagnosis, assessment and, ultimately, effective treatments. The aim of this thesis was to better characterise migraine through more detailed investigation of selected headache-related factors and to compare these factors with those seen in other commonly occurring recurrent headaches. The factors investigated in this thesis were neurochemical profile; cervical musculoskeletal impairments; and patient experience, represented by pain and disability characteristics, emotional state and other personal factors.

This thesis provides deeper information regarding the nature and characteristics of migraine compared with tension-type headache and cervicogenic headache. This thesis has established the potential of GABA as a biomarker for migraine, and thus implies the possible role of GABA in the disease process. This thesis has also characterised migraine according to cervical musculoskeletal impairments and patient experience embodying disability, pain, central sensitisation, and other personal factors. The implications for clinical practice are to assess cervical musculoskeletal impairments and patient experience to facilitate diagnosis and prognostication, and to educate patients on the nature of their headaches. Findings from the thesis may also be used by guideline developers, providing stimulus for further discussions regarding the definition of migraine and the reporting of participant selection criteria, with reference to this definition, in clinical trials. Future research directions are identified in validating GABA as a biomarker for migraine and elucidating its pathophysiology. By characterising migraine more fully, findings from this thesis will inform the development of effective treatments that possibly could be targeted at GABA or at the clinical characteristics found to be present in migraine. Ultimately this should achieve better health outcomes for people with migraine and other headaches.

Themes

Clinical and Rehabilitation Sciences; Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences

Selected publications

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Journals

  • Aguila, M., Rebbeck, T., Mendoza, K., De La Pena, M., Leaver, A. (2017). Definitions and participant characteristics of frequent recurrent headache types in clinical trials: A systematic review. Cephalalgia, Article in press. [More Information]
  • Aguila, M., Rebbeck, T., Leaver, A., Lagopoulos, J., Brennan, P., Huebscher, M., Refshauge, K. (2016). The Association Between Clinical Characteristics of Migraine and Brain GABA Levels: An Exploratory Study. The Journal of Pain, 17(10), 1058-1067. [More Information]
  • Aguila, M., Lagopoulos, J., Leaver, A., Rebbeck, T., Huebscher, M., Brennan, P., Refshauge, K. (2015). Elevated levels of GABA+ in migraine detected using 1H-MRS. NMR in Biomedicine, 28(7), 890-897. [More Information]
  • Trott, C., Aguila, M., Leaver, A. (2014). The clinical significance of immediate symptom responses to manual therapy treatment for neck pain: Observational secondary data analysis of a randomized trial. Manual Therapy, 19(6), 549-554. [More Information]

Conferences

  • Aguila, M., Leaver, A., Rebbeck, T., Lagopoulos, J., Brennan, P., Huebscher, M., Refshauge, K. (2015). Clinical characteristics associated with perceived disability and GABA level in adults with migraine: insights for physiotherapy assessment. World Confederation for Physical Therapy Congress 2015, Singapore: Elsevier.

2017

  • Aguila, M., Rebbeck, T., Mendoza, K., De La Pena, M., Leaver, A. (2017). Definitions and participant characteristics of frequent recurrent headache types in clinical trials: A systematic review. Cephalalgia, Article in press. [More Information]

2016

  • Aguila, M., Rebbeck, T., Leaver, A., Lagopoulos, J., Brennan, P., Huebscher, M., Refshauge, K. (2016). The Association Between Clinical Characteristics of Migraine and Brain GABA Levels: An Exploratory Study. The Journal of Pain, 17(10), 1058-1067. [More Information]

2015

  • Aguila, M., Leaver, A., Rebbeck, T., Lagopoulos, J., Brennan, P., Huebscher, M., Refshauge, K. (2015). Clinical characteristics associated with perceived disability and GABA level in adults with migraine: insights for physiotherapy assessment. World Confederation for Physical Therapy Congress 2015, Singapore: Elsevier.
  • Aguila, M., Lagopoulos, J., Leaver, A., Rebbeck, T., Huebscher, M., Brennan, P., Refshauge, K. (2015). Elevated levels of GABA+ in migraine detected using 1H-MRS. NMR in Biomedicine, 28(7), 890-897. [More Information]

2014

  • Trott, C., Aguila, M., Leaver, A. (2014). The clinical significance of immediate symptom responses to manual therapy treatment for neck pain: Observational secondary data analysis of a randomized trial. Manual Therapy, 19(6), 549-554. [More Information]

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