Why isn’t there a cure?
The short answer is that we can’t find a cure if we don’t know what causes migraine in the first place.
Well, why don’t we know what causes it? You’d think the doctors would have figured that out by now.
You would think, but it’s complicated.
For starters, nobody takes migraine seriously. Even a lot of doctors think it’s just a bad headache. Most only get about 4 hours of training on headache medicine. If they want to know more, they have to sign on for post-graduate training in headache medicine AFTER they get a specialty in neurology. There are only about 500 headache specialists in the whole country and they’ve got their hands full just trying to treat all the patients.
Plus, without government funding, the basic research to determine the cause of migraine is crawling at a snail’s pace. Migraine only gets about $20 million a year while arthritis gets $222 million. It’s not equitable at all. The National Institutes of Health has basically said we won’t get a penny more until migraine patients start raising money for research, too.
So we rolled up our sleeves and got to work. The American Headache and Migraine Association (AHMA) was created to support and empower people living with all types headache disorders, not just migraine. AHMA has partnered with Runnin’ for Research to raise funds to help find better treatments, discover the source of the problem, and maybe someday find a cure. Each year AHMA encourages member participation in Migraine and Headache Awareness Month and also hosts a patient conference with guest speakers who are leaders in the field of headache medicine. Members can help raise research funds by purchasing awareness items through CafePress and Bravelets and shopping on Amazon through our affiliate program.
Our efforts are starting to pay off though. Last December UCLA received an $10 million grant to study migraine’s origin and causes. Then earlier this year, PICORI granted nearly $8 million for researchers at Mayo Clinic in Arizona to study the best way to treat chronic migraine with medication overuse. Little by little our voices are being heard.
Would you like to be part of the effort to help find a cure for migraine? It’s really simple. By joining AHMA, you can be part of the solution. Maybe one day when your grandkids ask about migraine, you can tell them how you helped find the cure.