National Headache Foundation Announces First Menstrual Migraine Coalition to Educate Millions of Women and Their Healthcare Providers

Apr 12, 2005, 01:00 ET from National Headache Foundation

    CHICAGO, April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Headache Foundation (NHF)
 today announced the formation of the National Menstrual Migraine Coalition to
 raise awareness of a distinct, but little known migraine condition, estimated
 to affect nearly 13 million women in the U.S.  Menstrual migraines are often
 severe, long-duration migraines that have a higher probability of recurrence
 than other migraines.  The NHF has assembled a group of leading headache
 specialists and others to form the coalition. The National Menstrual Migraine
 Coalition is sponsored through an educational grant from Endo Pharmaceuticals.
     "Women often tolerate menstrual migraine pain without understanding that
 it is treatable," said Suzanne Simons, executive director of the National
 Headache Foundation.  "Women will be able to get the information they need at
 our web site and then talk to their healthcare providers if they think they
 might suffer from menstrual migraines."
     Up to 60 percent of migraines in women are menstrually related.  Menstrual
 migraines can have a serious and debilitating impact on women's lives because
 they last longer than other migraines, come back more often and are harder to
 treat.  Many women may not realize that the severe, recurring headache they
 get during menstruation could be a menstrual migraine.  Women who experience
 headaches around their period for three months or longer should talk to their
 healthcare providers.
     "Doctors and patients alike should be better informed about the signs and
 symptoms of menstrual migraine," said Larry Newman, M.D., Director of the
 Headache Institute at Roosevelt Hospital, and Chair of the National Menstrual
 Migraine Coalition.  "If we can improve awareness of menstrual migraine as a
 distinct condition, diagnosis should improve, and more women will gain access
 to appropriate treatment."
     The coalition will help educate both patients and healthcare providers
 about the prevalence, diagnosis and treatment of menstrual migraines.  Among
 its activities, it will survey women migraine sufferers to identify their
 needs and then help to educate patients and their healthcare providers about
 how to better manage this unique type of migraine.  Information on headache
 causes and treatment is available at the NHF web site, .
     Menstrual Migraine
     Menstrual migraines can be classified in two types:  pure menstrual
 migraines and menstrually related migraines (MRM).  Pure menstrual migraines
 occur exclusively during menstruation.  Women who suffer from MRM consistently
 experience migraines during their menstrual cycle but may also suffer from
 migraines at other times of the month.  Menstrual migraine pain can disrupt a
 women's ability to function for up to three days at a time. While the exact
 causes of menstrual migraine are uncertain, the drop in estrogen levels during
 the menstrual cycle may trigger a menstrual migraine.
     Migraine is a neurobiological disorder that affects 28 million Americans
 and can be disabling, as evidenced by missed days of work, lost time with
 family and friends, and a disrupted daily routine. Migraine is characterized
 by recurrent painful headaches lasting 4 to 72 hours, when untreated, and with
 symptoms that may include moderate to severe headache pain, throbbing head
 pain, head pain located on one side of the head, head pain aggravated by
 routine activity, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and/or sound.
     The National Headache Foundation
     The National Headache Foundation, founded in 1970 and celebrating its 35th
 anniversary, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving headache
 sufferers, their families and the healthcare providers who treat them;
 promoting research into headache causes and treatments; and educating the
 public to the fact that headaches are a legitimate biological disease and that
 sufferers should receive understanding and continuity of care. For more
 information on headache causes and treatments, visit
 or call 1-888-NHF-5552 (M-F. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST).
     Allais G, Benedetto C.  Update on menstrual migraine: from clinical
 aspects to therapeutical strategies.  Neurol Sci. 2004 Oct; 25(Supplement
     Geraud G, Keywood C, Senard JM.  Migraine Headache Recurrence:
 Relationship To Clinical, Pharmacological, And Pharmacokinetic Properties Of
 Triptans.  Headache 2003; 43:376-388.
     International Headache Society.  Cephalalgia 2004; 24 (Supplement 1): 1-
     Lipton RB, Diamond S, Reed M, Diamond ML, Stewart WF.  Migraine Diagnosis
 and Treatment: Results From the American Migraine Study II.  Headache 2001;

SOURCE National Headache Foundation