The overall objective of the project is to generate new synergies aimed at creating a network of interdisciplinary and transnational cooperation to analyze epigenetic and neuronal factors to develop migraine biomarkers in women.

The AD-EEGWA project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Interreg V-A Spain-Portugal Program (POCTEP) 2014-2020.

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The Biomedical Engineering Group of the University of Valladolid is a multidisciplinary group, mainly formed by Telecommunication Engineers and Doctors of different specialties (pneumology, neurology, psychiatry, neurophysiology, and ophthalmology). Its members have a wide experience in brain signal processing to help the diagnosis of different neurological diseases.

Roberto Horneroroberto.hornero@tel.uva.es
Carlos Gómezcarlos.gomez@tel.uva.es


The Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology (IPATIMUP) of the University of Porto was founded in 1989 and has consolidated a position as an international reference in disease research. IPATIMUP research is focused on the study of biological mechanisms of complex diseases, early diagnosis methods, decreasing the incidence of different diseases, increasing treatment effectiveness and, consequently, improving the quality of life of the patients.

Nádia Pintonpinto@ipatimup.pt


The "Fundación del Instituto de Estudios de Ciencias de la Salud de Castilla y León" is a non-profit organization that aims at promoting training, research and dissemination in Public Health, Assistance and Occupational Health. IECSCYL is responsible for effectively promoting research and innovation in Health in the autonomous community of Castile and Leon, aiming at improving the health of citizens.

Ángel L. Guerrerogueneurol@gmail.com
David Garcíadavilink@hotmail.com


The IBMC is a multidisciplinary research institution that was created in 1997 with the aim of bringing together researchers working at the University of Porto and affiliated hospitals to produce a unique environment that promotes life science research. It became a Research Unit recognised and funded by the "Foundation for Science and Technology" (FCT) of Portugal, the main Portuguese government agency that finances science.

Miguel Alves-Ferreiramiguel.ferreira@ibmc.up.pt

Our Goals

The overarching objective of the project is to generate new synergies aimed at creating an interdisciplinary and transnational cooperation network to analyze epigenetic and neuronal factors to develop migraine biomarkers in women.

Specific objectives

Representative sample

The sample, collected from different places in the North of Portugal and Castile and Leon, will be representative for migraine. In particular, a sample of women between 18 and 40 years of age will be collected because they are the social group most affected by this pathology. Healthy women will also be analyzed to make a comparison possible. For all patients and controls, their clinical data, their brain activity and their genetic/epigenetic information will be analyzed.

Epigenetic and brain activity analysis

The extraction of genetic material will be done by obtaining blood samples. The DNA and RNA obtained will be sequenced and regions with different proportions of methylation in the samples, differentially methylated CpG sites (DMCs) and differentially methylated regions (DMRs) will be obtained. In parallel, the brain electrical activity from neuronal synapses will be acquired by resting electroencephalography. Subsequently, brain connectivity will be analyzed and the dynamics of the brain network in patients and controls will be characterised.


Finally, it is intended to develop a tool to aid in the diagnosis of migraine based on genetic / epigenetic data and brain activity. For this purpose, patients and controls that will participate in the research will be characterised and the topographies obtained in the analysis of the signals collected in the sampling phase will be compared, applying two complementary strategies: clustering and phylogenetic networks.

Expected results

Result #1

Increase of the number of researchers in the region of Castile and Leon - North of Portugal.

Result #2

Improvement of the equipment needed for the study of migraine: computers, portable EEG equipment, collection system of biological material, DNA extraction kits and associated laboratory material, etc.

Result #3

A new database formed by genetic and epigenetic samples, EEG recordings and clinical and sociodemographic data from 100 subjects from Castile and Leon and North of Portugal.

Result #4

Genomic and epigenomic results of the participants with a high scientific value, as well as characteristics of their neuronal activity.

Result #5

Publication of the obtained results in journals and conferences of national and international relevance.

Innovative procedures

Genomic regions detection

Look for epigenetic factors that can be linked to migraine. For that purpose, a set of patients and controls will be analysed in order to discover hidden relationships between clinical aspects and epigenetic diversity.

Brain activity

Identification of brain activity patterns associated with migraine.

Epigenetics and electroencephalography

Correlation of epigenetic and neuronal data to help in the diagnosis of migraine.


The proposed diagnostic tool is highly innovative, since it combines several kinds of technologies that are nowadays available to the scientific community independently, so they can synergistically improve the accuracy of inferences.


The main product derived from this project is the development of a new biomarker for the early diagnosis of migraine. This tool will be based on the obtained results from blood samples and EEG recordings from patients and controls. It might achieve a high precision by means of the combination of epigenetic data and neuronal activity. Other products are the publication of the obtained results in journals and national and international conferences, and the development of a framework for the subsequent cooperation between the partners towards the expansion to new studies related with migraine.

Activities of the Project

Activity 1. Selection of subjects and data collection.

To select the sample that will participate in the study (100 women resident in both areas of project intervention, distributed as follows: 34 control women without a history of migraine, 33 women with chronic migraine and 33 women with episodic migraine) and to collect biological samples (blood) and brain activity (electroencephalogram, EEG).

Activity 2. Epigenetic and brain activity analysis.

To obtain the genetic/epigenetic profiles of the participants from the biological material collected in the previous activity and analysis, using advanced signal processing methods, of the EEG recordings.

Activity 3. Correlation between the epigenome and the EEG.

To identify patterns by means of meta-analysis, providing assistance in the diagnosis of migraine. This will be carried out combining EEG signals and epigenetic data from all the participants in the study.

Activity 4. Conclusions.

To design of a tool to help in the diagnosis of migraine, based on the analysis carried out in the previous activities. Additionally, we will evaluate the possible exploitation of the aforementioned tool.

Activity 5. Management and coordination.

To coordinate and supervise each activity by the main beneficiary, each institution being responsible for their own actions.

Activity 6. Communication.

To participate in conferences to present the preliminary results of the project to the scientific community, publication of papers showing the final results in prestigious international journals, and preparation of communication material to make society aware of the progress of the project (website, social networks, preparation of seminars and press releases).

Related publications

Scientific conferences

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