"Obviously, we are very pleased to be undertaking this study here at the college," said Howard Vernon,DC, FCCS(C), the associate dean of CMCC's research department. "This is the largest research grant that CMCC has ever received," he added.
Joining Dr. Vernon on the project are investigators Dr. Gwen Jansz (St. Michael's Hospital, University of Toronto), Dr. Cameron McDermaid (CMCC) and Charles Goldsmith (McMaster University).
Dr. Vernon noted several interesting aspects of the research: A placebo will be used in both the drug therapy and the chiropractic treatment components; the researchers will also look at the effects of the combination of medical and chiropractic treatments. Dr. Vernon noted that the study "provides an opportunity for cooperative research between the medical and chiropractic professions."
The study will take three years to complete and involve approximately 350 people from the Toronto environs. The study group will be solicited through advertisements seeking people who frequently experience headaches (10 times per month). The subjects will be randomly grouped to receive combinations of real or simulated chiropractic care versus low doses of amitriptyline. Amitriptyline is an antidepressant that has also been used for migraine patients.
The subjects will undergo 14 weeks of treatment: four weeks on medication only, then 10 weeks of medication and chiropractic treatments three times weekly. The subjects of the study will be monitored for a year after the treatments.
Dr. Vernon credited the government grant to the persistent efforts of the Ontario Chiropractic Association to promote chiropractic research. Dr. Vernon also gave thanks to the National Chiropractic Mutual Insurance Company (NCMIC) for its generous grant to support the development of the proposal.