We are very excited to to announce the premiere of Heads Up, the official weekly podcast of the National Headache Foundation with Vincent Martin, M.D. and Lindsay Weitzel, PhD. Episode 1: What is a migraine? Dr. Martin and Dr. Weitzel discuss what a migraine is, and whether...

In the United States, only half of the 37 million people who suffer from migraine have been diagnosed with the disorder, and many receive inappropriate migraine management, according to a presentation at the American Pain Society Annual Scientific Meeting in May. Richard Wenzel, PharmD, from the Diamond Headache Clinic and Saint Joseph Hospital in Chicago, told the audience that this situation needs to improve and provided suggestions for better care of migraineurs, including the appropriate diagnosis of the disorder and a management plan that relies on both pharmacotherapy and non-pharmacotherapy approaches. For correct diagnosis, he recommended health care providers rely on valuable tools, including a quick three-question test called ID Migraine™.

According to the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention (AMPP) Study1, more than 29 million Americans experience migraines, yet only about 48 percent who have the symptoms of migraine actually receive proper diagnosis. Migraine is a chronic neurologic disorder characterized by recurring attacks of head pain and associated symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, vomiting or extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Below is an overview of the National Headache Foundation's (NHF) Standards of Care for Headache Diagnosis and Treatment which include the U.S. Headache Consortium's recommendations for the proper diagnosis of and treatment options for migraine.

To date, there are no available diagnostic tests to diagnose migraine, tension-type or cluster headache. A specific headache evaluation is needed by a healthcare provider familiar with the headache problems. This evaluation will include a history, physical examination, and possible appropriate testing to exclude underlying diseases as a cause of the headache.

CHICAGO, February 22, 2000 - A new study - the American Migraine Study II – reports that patient treatment patterns have not kept pace with major scientific breakthroughs in the field. Unfortunately, despite a better understanding of the disease and medications designed specifically for the treatment of migraine, many patients continue to experience needless pain and disability. The study examines the state of migraine care over the past decade and shows the majority of patients report severe disability and the need for bedrest due to an inability to control their headache pain and associated migraine symptoms. The study reveals that the 48 percent of sufferers who have received a diagnosis from a doctor suffer to a similar degree as those who have never had their migraines diagnosed. This shows that effective control of migraine is dependent not only on diagnosis but on the treatment received once in the physician’s care.