Worldwide, about 13 percent of the population suffers from migraines. In Austria, more than one million people suffer from migraines. World Headache Day aims to draw attention to the disease.
According to the Austrian Headache Society on Monday, there are practical and well-tolerated medicines. Their president, Sonja Maria Tesar, urged people on World Headaches Day on September 5 to take migraines seriously and visit the physician or the lady doctor. The road to the correct diagnosis and therapy is often long.
Headache Day: Around 13 percent of people suffer from migraines
Despite the frequency of the disease, it is often not taken seriously by outsiders. “Many migraine patients do not broach the subject of their illness, as they assume that neither employers nor family members can understand and comprehend what they are suffering from,” Tesar stated.
Migraines should be diagnosed and treated.
Migraines, however, should be diagnosed and treated. “Otherwise, progression of the disease is promoted, and episodic migraine can develop into chronic migraine,” emphasized Tesar, medical director of the LKH Wolfsberg and head of the headache outpatient clinic at Klagenfurt Hospital. In addition, as the frequency of attacks increases, anxiety and depression also increasingly occur as accompanying symptoms.
Drug prevention of migraine attacks
The drug prevention of migraine attacks has changed fundamentally thanks to the development of therapy with monoclonal antibodies. “Excellent efficacy has been demonstrated for the so-called CGRP antibodies. They inhibit the neuropeptide CGRP released by nerve cells during migraine attacks and, compared with nonspecific substances such as beta-blockers, antiepileptic drugs, or antidepressants, show more efficient efficacy while being better tolerated.”
Short infusion for migraine
The CGRP antibodies, available for five years, are mainly administered monthly by injection or pen. A short infusion for migraine prevention has recently become available, given only four times a year. Under these forms of therapy, the frequency and intensity of attacks decrease, Tesar reported. “We talk about effective prevention when there is a reduction in attack frequency of 50 percent or more for episodic migraine and 30 percent or more for chronic migraine. However, it is not only about reducing the number of migraine days but also improving the quality of life,” the physician emphasized.