The chair and vice-chair of the Headache and Facial Pain Section of the American Academy of Neurology provided insight on projects they feel are needed to advance the care of patients with migraine-related disorders. [WATCH TIME: 4 minutes]
WATCH TIME: 4 minutes
"Despite how young we look, we both graduated from fellowship quite a while ago. I believe at the time there were 8 or 10 fellowship programs, and now there are over 40. That speaks volumes about how people are realizing the importance and value [in them], particularly in academic centers."
In recent years, there has been a lot of momentum built within the migraine field, mainly from the advancements in treatment options and the introduction of a new class of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) antagonists. Despite the positive progress, though, experts have continued to stress the lack of headache specialists for a disease that impacts nearly 10% of people worldwide and crosses over with several other neurological conditions.
The shortage of migraine specialists is not a new phenomenon. A 2013 study found uneven shortages across states, with 6 states having no migraine specialists at all. At the time, only 416 specialists were certified by the United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties to treat the estimated 36 million migraine sufferers over the age of 12. To combat this shortage, Rashmi B. Halker-Singh, MD, FAAN, and Paul Mathew, MD, DNBPAS, FAAN, FAHS, chair and vice-chair of the Headache and Facial Pain Section of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), explained that there have been increased efforts made to attract more young neurologists to headache medicine.
At the 2022 AAN Annual Meeting, April 2-7, in Seattle, Washington, Halker-Singh and Mathew sat down to discuss the ways of tackling this issue. Additionally, they touched upon the research they’re currently involved with and some of the necessary efforts to improve overall migraine and headache management.