Professional background

Dr Bahra qualified from Bristol University. She undertook her research at the Institute of Neurology, UCL. The research addressed clinical aspects of cluster headache and, pathophysiological mechanisms in headache, using functional imaging. Dr Bahra gained her specialist neurology training in Wellington, New Zealand, St Bartholomew’s and the Royal London Hospitals and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN), London. She has held her consultant post at Whipps Cross Hospital (now part of Bartshealth NHS Trust) and the NHNN, since 2003.

Dr Bahra runs tertiary headache services at the NHNN and Barts Health, part of UCL Partners. Dr Bahra has been involved in the development of multidisciplinary headache clinics. These include paediatric transition services with Great Ormond Street Hospital, Migraine-Vertigo clinics with the Neuro-otology and Neurostimulation clinics with the Pain Management teams.

Dr Bahra is currently on the guidelines subcommittee of the British Association for the Study of Headache (BASH), having previously been secretary of BASH. She is on the standards setting board for the Neurology Speciality Certificate Examination, the teaching subcommittee of the European Academy of Neurology, London Cancer - Brain and Spine Board, Whipps Cross Hospital Educational Board Trustee and Life member OUCH UK (Organisation for the Understanding of Cluster headache).

Research interests

Dr Bahra's research interest is based upon the clinical experience and opportunity offered by the split-site post. The post allows for longitudinal observation of all primary and secondary headache disorders which present to secondary and national tertiary neurology services.


Selected Publications:

  • May A, Bahra A, Buchel C, Frackowiak RSJ, Goadsby PJ. Hypothalamic activation in cluster headache attacks. The Lancet. 1998;352(9124):275-8.
  • Bahra A, Gawel Mj Fau - Hardebo JE, Hardebo Je Fau - Millson D, Millson D Fau - Breen SA, Breen Sa Fau - Goadsby PJ, Goadsby PJ. Oral zolmitriptan is effective in the acute treatment of cluster headache. Neurology. 2000;54(9):1832-9.
  • May A, Bahra A, Buchel C, Turner R, Goadbsy PJ. Functional magentic resonance imaging in spontaneous attacks of SUNCT: short-lasting neuralgiform headache with conjunctival injection and tearing. Annals of Neurology. 1999;46(5):791-4.
  • May A, Bahra A, Buechel C, Frackowiak RJS, Goadsby PJ. PET and MRA findings in cluster headache and MRA in experimental pain. Neurology. 2000;55:1328-35.
  • Bahra A, Matharu M, Buechel C, Frackowiak RS, Goadsby PJ. Brainstem activation specific to migraine headache. Lancet. 2001;31(357):1016-7.
  • Bahra A, May A, Goadsby PJ. Cluster Headache : A prospective clinical study with diagnostic implications. Neurology. 2002;58(3):354-61.
  • Bahra A, Walsh M, Menon S, Goadsby PJ. Does chronic daily headache arise de novo in association with regular analgesic use? Headache. 2003;43(3):179-90.
  • van Vliet JA, Bahra A, Martin V, Ramadan N, Aurora SK, Mathew NT, et al. Intranasal sumatriptan in cluster headache: randomized placebo-controlled double-blind study. Neurology. 2003;60(4):630-3.
  • Bahra A, Goadsby PJ. Diagnostic delays and mis-management in cluster headache. Acta Neurologica Scandinavica. 2004;109(3):175-9.
  • Paemeleire K, Bahra A, Evers S, Matharu MS, Goadbsy PJ. Medication-overuse headache in patients with cluster headache. Neurology. 2006;67(1):109-13.