Spotlight on PAINWeek: What’s Being Discussed About Migraine?

September 9, 2016

shutterstock_226211266For those of you suffering from chronic migraine pain, this month is devoted to YOU. September is National Pain Awareness Month. A host of activities are scheduled for the month, including the largest conference on pain management among practitioners: PAINWeek. Currently underway, PAINWeek, allows pain management professionals to present current research, issues, and advances of further medical advances to a wider audience of pain management practitioners.

In terms of current migraine research and topics, below is a sampling of what’s being discussed right now. For a comprehensive list, see the link in Reference #2.  

  1. Plan for Creation of International Migraine Database: The American Migraine Foundation (AMF) plan on creating an International Migraine Patient Registry and Biorepository.  It would contain valuable information of every person with migraine. PAINWeek faculty participant David W. Dodick, MD, FRCP (C), FACP, states, “We hope….to assemble a treasure trove of data that researchers can access to find powerful clues to migraine causes and treatments.”  Though AMF argues migraine research to be “woefully” underfunded, they hope to soon make this project a reality. 
  2. New Class of Medication for Migraine Gaining Traction: Since the initial class of drugs to treat migraine in 1991, there haven’t been newer additional medications produced. Fortunately, there’s hope development on a newer class is on the horizon. The American Headache Society (AHS) announced at their annual meeting on the discovery of a new class of drugs. Peter Goadsby, MD, PhD, and chair of the scientific program of the AHS meeting states this as “…a transformative moment in migraine treatment” and, “it’s a truly landmark development.”
  3. Largest Study of Genetic Triggers of Migraine To Date: In what’s being described as the largest genetic study on migraine to date, researchers from the International Headache Genetics Consortium announced a major advance in the understanding of genetic triggers of migraine. The study identifies 38 “genomic regions” associated with migraine as opposed to the previously known 10. John-Anker Zwart, PhD, and head of research with the Oslo University Hospital reported, “We doctors have known for a long time that migraine patients differ from each other and the drugs that work for some patients are completely inefficient for others.”
  4. Social media’s importance for both migraine sufferers and researchers: Social media seems to be affecting all areas of life these days: including those suffering from migraine and researchers desperate for more information. Two separate studies in the conference focus on the power of social media. The first explores how Twitter has become an effective way for migraine sufferers to share their own experience with the condition. A separate study takes a look at how social media, and the information migraine sufferers post, can be a valuable source of information where before they only had information as relayed to them by their patients.

So for those of you dealing with chronic migraine: don’t give up hope. People in the medical are working on advancing treatment, prevention, and the alleviation of your pain.  


  1. Hendry, Phyllis L, Danielle Eaves Hernandez, Colleen Kalynych, Jeffrey A Gudin, Dawn C Buse, Alexis Lapietra, Ignacio J Badiola, et al. Emd-01 Child Life 101 for Emergency Departments and Emergency Care Providers: Using Nonpharmacologic Methods to Relieve and Manage Pain and Anxiety Sis-01 Bhv-01 Biobehavioral Management of Migraine Emd-02 Case Scenarios in ED Pain Management: Don’t Let F. n.p., 2016.
  2. ‘‘Migraine Pain Search Results’. 2016. Accessed September 8, 2016.
  3. ‘American Migraine Foundation Seeks to Speed Research Discoveries through First-Ever Migraine Patient Registry & Biorepository’. 2016. Accessed September 9, 2016.
    neurology genetics 2015 1: e10.
  4. ‘Migraine Community Sees Promise in New Class of Drugs; Studies to Be Presented at AHS Meeting’. 2016. Accessed September 9, 2016.
  5. ‘Large-Scale Genetic Study Provides New Insight into the Causes of Migraine’. 2016. Accessed September 9, 2016.
  6. ‘Montefiore and Einstein Researchers Leverage Social Media to Uncover New Data on Migraine Sensory Experiences’. 2016. Accessed September 9, 2016.
  7. Nascimento, Thiago D, Marcos F DosSantos, Theodora Danciu, Misty DeBoer, Hendrik van Holsbeeck, Sarah R Lucas, Christine Aiello, et al. ‘Real-Time Sharing and Expression of Migraine Headache Suffering on Twitter: A Cross-Sectional Infodemiology Study’. Journal of Medical Internet Research 16, no. 4 (March 4, 2014). Accessed September 9, 2016. doi:10.2196/jmir.3265.

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