Determining Migraine Treatment Eligibility: Stephanie J. Nahas, MD

Disease Spotlight | <b>Disease Spotlight: Migraine</b>

The associate professor and director of the Headache Medicine Fellowship Program at Thomas Jefferson University discussed the role of clinicians in determining migraine treatment eligibility.

"A large part of that is the stigma of the disease, where we tend to minimize and think that it’s not so real. There’s a lot of psychological and behavioral stuff, which is true, but it’s also a real biologic disease that is nobody’s fault.”

A total of 16,789 participants were included in the Chronic Migraine Epidemiology and Outcomes (CaMEO) study, with 39% (n = 6579) experiencing 4 or more monthly headache days (MHDs). Within this group, 80.2% reported never using, 9.8% reported currently using, and 10.1% of patients reported previous but not current use of a daily oral migraine preventive.

Although the majority of those with 4 or more MHDs had never used a preventive, most were interested in trying a pharmaceutical treatment, with greater interest in oral versus injectable options. For the study authors, including Stephanie J. Nahas, MD, the number of eligible patients who hadn’t been placed on a preventive was alarming and highlights a major gap in clinical care for migraine.

Nahas, an associate professor and director of the Headache Medicine Fellowship Program at Thomas Jefferson University, noted that migraine awareness is still not where it should be among the public and physicians. In an interview with NeurologyLive, she stressed that clinicians play an important role for their patients, helping to reduce stigma and promoting open conversations about diagnosis and treatment options.

REFERENCE
Nahas SJ, Buse DC, Hutchinson S, et al. Characterizing preventive treatment gaps in migraine: results from the CaMEO study. Presented at 2021 American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting; April 17-22. Abstract P10.049