On the occasion of Migraine & Headache Awareness Month, the European Brain Council launches “Migraine, my brain” campaign to highlight the need to rethink migraine care. The campaign falls under “RETHINKING Migraine in times of COVID-19”, a research-driven project offering tangible policy changes to improve the lives of people living with migraine across Europe.
Migraine is a complex neurological disease identified as the leading cause of years lived with disability in people under the age of 50 years, the leading cause of disability in young women and the second leading cause of disability in the world. An estimated 41 million adult Europeans live with migraine of varying severity. Migraine often starts at puberty and mostly affects adults in their productive years but can also be present in children and the elderly. It is found to be the second most frequently identified cause of short-term absence for employees and among the five leading causes of emergency department visits.
The management of chronic neurological disorders such as migraine can be challenging under “normal circumstances”, not to mention the global pandemic that the world has been facing since 2020. It is undeniable that COVID-19 has disrupted every sphere of society, but the repercussions for people living with migraine, overshadowed by the COVID-19 outbreak, should not be overlooked. What were the challenges faced by people with migraine before and during the coronavirus pandemic and what lessons can be learnt from this unprecedented experience? What strategies can be put in place to make them sustainable in the long term?
The objective of the policy report “RETHINKING Migraine in times of COVID-19” is to respond to these questions by a comprehensive literature review of the recent publications and by providing concrete and tangible testimonies of all relevant stakeholders. Clinicians, migraine patients, patient and family advocates, health insurance providers and pharma representatives have been impacted by the disruption in care, which proved both an obstacle and an accelerator for the implementation of good practices.
We shed light on how people living with migraine have been impacted by the pandemic, which good practices have been put in place and what lessons can be learnt from this experience. The report provides insight into why we need to rethink migraine to provide and ensure access to optimal care for all.
“RETHINKING Migraine in times of COVID-19” falls under the RETHINKING project series, led by EBC. The aim of the RETHINKING Projects is to develop policy priorities around challenges in brain disorders and present a consensus on what needs to be achieved to resolve the most pressing challenges in brain conditions, today and in the future. There is a clear need to rethink the management of the brain disorders and redesign the care pathways to ensure optimal treatment and care for all people living with brain disorders in Europe.