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Migraine Research: Cure For Migraine Headache?

Migraine research is the hope that someday there will be a cure for migraine headache. Because now we know it isn't JUST a headache. It is a disorder, fast approaching acceptance in the medical community as a disease state.

Did you ever wonder why it takes so long for new migraine research to bring results to you the patient? It is partially due to the fact that this issue is tremendously underfunded, not only by the US government but also more recently by the pharmaceutial companies.

In the US, up to 80% of all research is funded by the drug companies, unlike European countries where the governments do most of the funding. In recent years, most of the drug companies who make headache drugs are pulling their funds as these meds go generic. This means Depakote, Topamax, Keppra, and Imitrex and by 2013, Maxalt and Axert. Although these companies may continue to make the medications in generic form (some do, some don't), because of the lower profit margin they will not put any money into migraine research.

So who is left? FOUNDATIONS. The American Headache Society has formed the American Migraine Foundation to help fund research. The other new foundation is The Migraine Research Foundation. The Migraine Research Foundation in particular, has been interested in research in pediatric headaches. Through them you might find providers doing trials in your area.

We are conducting clinical trials at the Dent Headache Center so if you are in New York State, you are welcome to contact us to see if you qualify and could participate.

migraine research


Finding Migraine Research Trials

You can participate in clinical trials. There are several ways to find these trials:

  • Ask your headache specialist who is doing research in your area
  • Visit the foundation sites above
  • Visit Clinicaltrials.gov and search for "migraine" or "headache"
  • Visit my headache resources page and look for headache centers

Even if you think the trial is not helping you, that is very valuable information to the researcher. Not only do we have to know what works for a patient in the field of medicine, but we also have to know what doesn't work! These are the kind of answers we can get from clinical trials so there really is no such thing as a bad result in research. Everything tells us something and if it doesn't work, then that leads to a new direction in research.

What You Can Do

The US Government entity responsible for funding public trials is the NIH or National Institute of Health. In 2007 they gave $1,000 million for diabetes research, #297 million for asthma research and a paultry $13 million for headache! This is about $0.36 per patient in the US.

I attended the 2009 International Headache Society meeting where Cindy McCain (wife of Senator John McCain) was the keynote speaker. She too suffers from migraine and has promised to lobby for more funding.

You can donate to funding by visiting the above research foundations and giving some money. Even $5 can make a difference if several thousand people donate!


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