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Receipient of the Foundations Nordic Research Prize selected

Professor, MD Jes Olesen, Dept. of Neurology, Danish Headache Center, Glostrup Hospital has been selected to be awarded The Lundbeck Foundation Nordic Research Prize 2010 of DKK 2 million. The recipients of the prize receives DKK 600,000 as a personal prize and DKK 1,4 million for research of their choosing.

Jes Olesen is the founder of the Danish Headache Center at Glostrup Hospital, a nationwide treatment center for particularly severe cases of migraine and other headaches. For 30 years he has been the leader of a headache-research group, which through the years has had several path-breaking discoveries that have had great international impact.

It was previously believed, that migraine is caused by contraction followed by expansion of the brain's blood vessels, but Jes Olesen's group has demonstrated that it is in fact a unique phenomenon in the brain, during which changes slowly spread over the cerebral cortex. The group's meticulous descriptions of the different types of migraine have under Danish leadership led to the development of a set of international standards of definition and classification of over 100 different types of headaches. This has strengthened international research collaboration in the field, as research findings from one country now can be transferred directly to other countries.

In the last 20 years Jes Olesen's research has focused on finding new treatments for migraine. His research group has proved that nitrogen oxide – the active ingredient in cardiovascular medicine nitroglycerin – can trigger migraine, and that blocking the body's own production of nitrogen oxide is effective in the treatment of migraine attacks. However, medicine developed in accordance with this principle is yet to be developed. The group has also shown that another signal substance, CGRP may also trigger migraine, and that drugs that block its effect in the body are effective against migraine. Medicine that works according to this principle, is expected to be available in 2-3 years. The group has also identified other substances that can trigger migraine, and whose effect it is expected to be possible to block. The group's work has greatly contributed to the development of new medicine for migraine based on the results from solid basic and clinical research performed, among other countries, in Denmark.

The award ceremony will take place on March 15, 2010 kl. 15:00 in Auditorium C, Entrance 7, Glostrup University Hospital, Ndr. Ring Road 57. The press is welcome.

For further details, please contact:

. Chairman of the Lundbeck Foundations price committee, MD, DMSc. Nils Axelsen, Statens Serum Institut, tel 32 68 32 62 or e-mail na@ssi.dk  

. Professor, MD, DMSc. Jes Olesen, tel: 38 63 30 33 or e-mail: jeol@glo.regionh.dk

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