Dr Maniyar, a consultant neurologist at The Hartswood, has won an international award for his research on migraines.
The American Headache Society awarded Dr Farooq Maniyar, its prestigious Harold G Wolff Lecture honour for his studies which looked at the brain activity during the early stages and then throughout a migraine.
Migraine sufferers volunteered to have headaches triggered with nitro-glycerine and were then monitored, using detailed brain scans, before and during the migraine.
The scans revealed changes in key areas of the brain, before the headaches started, which could lead to a breakthrough in treating patients.
Dr Maniyar said: “One of the main difficulties in finding effective treatments for migraines is we are not entirely sure what causes them. Previous studies have concentrated on the theory they begin in the surrounding nerves and blood vessels.
However, our new research shows changes take place in areas of the brain, particularly the hypothalamus, before the headaches begin.
The hypothalamus maintains the normal environment of the brain. It seems to be involved in the early stages of a migraine, which may explain why these headaches occur when people change their routine in a way that causes them stress.”
Migraines affect one in four women and one in 12 men in the UK* and are often associated with nausea, increased sensitivity to light, sound and smells, as well as a severe throbbing sensation that gets worse when you move.
Harold George Wolff was an American doctor, neurologist and scientist who is generally considered the father of modern headache research, and a pioneer in the study of psychosomatic illness.