Eliminating Migraine Stigmas Through Education: Valentina Popova, MD


The pediatric headache specialist at NYU Langone provided an inside perspective on the effect that societal stigmas have on those with pediatric migraine and how to address those stigmas.

"We tried to adjust that with the school so that they get less headaches because of it, and as well as have a conversation about the real diagnosis, the ramifications of it, and how we can best help the child succeed within those parameters.”

With its headache attacks, nausea, and cascade of other symptoms, migraine is particularly difficult to deal with because of its sometimes-unpredictable nature. Despite it being genetic in cause, there have been several stigmas driven by society that can downplay the impact migraine has on individuals with it.

People with migraine may be viewed as attention seeking or told that their attacks are nothing more than “just a headache.” As a result, migraineurs can experience differential treatment from friends, loved ones, and coworkers. Children and adolescents who experience pediatric migraine may be exposed to these stigmas even more in school environments.

Valentina Popova, MD, pediatric headache specialist, NYU Langone, feels as though its important to get physicians involved with schools so that they can outline what the diagnosis is, what it entails, and come up with a plan for the child that tailers to both their educational needs and migraine treatment regimen. Popova sat down with NeurologyLive to discuss how, as a society, we can begin to change the stigmas related to migraine.

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