The assistant professor of pediatrics and neurology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine discussed the importance of headache research in gender minorities.
“Transgender individuals want to know more about the effects of gender-affirming hormone therapy—which is relatively new, especially in the US—on their own health, so putting some more study into this understudied population is important. I think it's important to understand that transgender individuals have been stigmatized, and so even their clinical interaction with the medical profession has been somewhat limited by that, it's been disincentivized.”
As a historically stigmatized and underserved population, transgender and gender-diverse patients with headache have not had access to data pertaining to their health, particularly with the effects of gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT). Jennifer Hranilovich, MD, assistant professor, pediatrics and neurology, Headache Program, University of Colorado School of Medicine/Children's Hospital Colorado, spoke with NeurologyLive on the importance of research for gender minorities, and the next steps for those in the headache and migraine space.
Hranilovich provided additional comment on the general importance of research, in that studying the effect of GAHT on headache can also inform studies about the effect of hormones in all patients’ brains. Recent steps have been taken she said, including the establishment of the Sexual & Gender Minority Research Office by the National Institutes of Health in 2015.