This year on World Brain Day, the World Federation of Neurology (WFN) is raising awareness for migraine, one of the leading causes of global disability. United under the theme “Migraine: The Painful Truth,” more than 120 organizations worldwide are standing together on July 22 to share the staggering reality surrounding one of the world’s most common brain diseases.
“This World Brain Day, we are committed to shining a light on a disease that historically is underrecognized,” says WFN President Prof. William Carroll. “What people don’t realise is that migraine affects a vast population of people around the world and the ripple effect upon households and economies is significant.”
The Global Impact of Migraine
Migraine is a global issue that does not discriminate by age, gender, socioeconomic status or geographic location. Characterised by severe head pain, cognitive impairment, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, vertigo, and sensitivity to light, sound, and touch, migraine is a disabling neurological disease. In order to help patients find relief and improve their quality of life, early diagnosis and access to effective treatment are vital.
“As migraine takes the global stage during World Brain Day, the goal is to elevate the standard of care for those living with migraine, regardless of their location,” says Prof. Wolfgang Grisold, the WFN’s Secretary-General.
Awareness is key to making an impact.
Working with the International Headache Society and partners around the globe, the World Federation of Neurology developed educational messaging to share during World Brain Day. These points are essential in illustrating the widespread impact of this disease and focus on the primary gaps surrounding migraine awareness.
Prevalence: Migraine is the most common brain disease in the world, affecting 1 in 7 people worldwide.
Disability: Migraine is a major, disabling disease that can severely impact every aspect of a person’s life.
Education: Migraine is under-recognized, under-diagnosed and under-treated.
Research: Migraine receives less research funding than any of the world’s most burdensome diseases.
Standard of Care: Together, we can make sure that those affected by migraine get the care they need.
“If we accomplish one thing this World Brain Day, it would be to help reduce the stigma surrounding migraine and promote awareness regarding the need for a global standard of care for those living with migraine,” says Prof. Tissa Wijeratne, World Brain Day Chair. “Sharing the truth about migraine will move the needle in the right direction.”
Taking Action for World Brain Day 2019
“Through World Brain Day we wish to raise the public’s knowledge of migraine as the most pervasive and one of the most impactful neurological disorders in the world,” says David Dodick, MD, Professor of Neurology at Mayo Clinic, Chair of the American Migraine Foundation and Immediate Past-President of the International Headache Society. “We also aim to position migraine as a public health and research priority and outline a strategy to increase access to treatment and elevate the standard of care for millions, regardless of age, gender, culture or geographic location.”
On July 22nd, WFN is hosting a free webinar with some of the world’s leading neurologists, patient advocates and migraine experts to offer vital insights on the disease.
“Everyone is affected by migraine, which is why this webinar is so important,” says Wijeratne. “Education is the foundation for encouraging people to speak up, and we hope to elevate the patient voice and bring visibility to this invisible illness.”
WFN is also turning to social media, asking people all over the world to share the painful truth about migraine using the hashtags #worldbrainday and #thepainfultruth. Individuals can share their own, personal painful truths about migraine, or they can access custom graphics on the WFN website available for download.
“With migraine, you don’t have a cast, there is no scar—it is invisible,” says Carroll. “And far too often, those living with this disease feel the same. Our hope is that World Brain Day gives the more than 1 billion people worldwide living with migraine the voice they desperately need.”
The World Brain Day efforts will continue throughout the rest of the year, with more research and information being released. Access the webinar registration, World Brain Day graphics and additional information about migraine and other disabling headache disorders on the WFN website at www.wfneurology.org.
SOURCE World Federation of Neurology
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