Ad­dress­ing the Un­met Needs of Mi­graine Suf­fer­ers Strug­gling with Men­tal Health Chal­lenges

Mi­graine is a com­mon neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­or­der af­fect­ing more than one bil­lion peo­ple world­wide.1 The im­pact of mi­graine is far-reach­ing and con­tributes to a high dis­ease bur­den that can take an enor­mous toll on a per­son’s phys­i­cal and men­tal health.

In ad­di­tion to de­bil­i­tat­ing symp­toms in­clud­ing pain, vi­su­al dis­tur­bances, nau­sea and sen­si­tiv­i­ty to light and sound,2 mi­graine is as­so­ci­at­ed with a high risk for co­mor­bid psy­chi­atric con­di­tions, es­pe­cial­ly de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety.3 De­pres­sion is over 2.5 times more com­mon in peo­ple with mi­graine than in the gen­er­al pop­u­la­tion, and anx­i­ety dis­or­ders—in­clud­ing gen­er­al­ized anx­i­ety dis­or­der, ob­ses­sive com­pul­sive dis­or­der and pan­ic dis­or­der—are 2 to 5 times more preva­lent in peo­ple with mi­graine.4 Psy­chi­atric co­mor­bidi­ties are more com­mon in those with a greater bur­den of dis­ease from mi­graine.3

Im­pact of Mi­graine on Qual­i­ty of Life and Dis­abil­i­ty

Mi­graine can im­pact many facets of a per­son’s life. One land­mark study by Buse and col­leagues of more than 13,000 mi­graine suf­fer­ers showed that mi­graine neg­a­tive­ly im­pacts their in­ter­per­son­al dy­nam­ics, psy­cho­log­i­cal health and well-be­ing, par­ent­ing, ca­reer at­tain­ment and fi­nan­cial sta­bil­i­ty.5

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An­oth­er in­de­pen­dent study of ap­prox­i­mate­ly 11,200 in­di­vid­u­als with mi­graine in 31 coun­tries found a high bur­den of dis­ease af­fect­ing re­la­tion­ships, par­tic­i­pa­tion in so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties, abil­i­ty to per­form dai­ly tasks and work pro­duc­tiv­i­ty. Over­all, 85% of re­spon­dents re­port­ed at least one neg­a­tive as­pect as­so­ci­at­ed with liv­ing with mi­graine, in­clud­ing feel­ing mis­un­der­stood, de­pressed and help­less.6

These stud­ies high­light the ex­ten­sive im­pact of mi­graine and un­der­score the im­por­tance of pa­tients re­ceiv­ing a di­ag­no­sis and ap­pro­pri­ate mi­graine-spe­cif­ic ther­a­pies.

Glob­al­ly mi­graine is the sec­ond lead­ing cause of dis­abil­i­ty and strik­ing­ly, it is the top cause of dis­abil­i­ty-ad­just­ed life years (DALY), a mea­sure of over­all dis­ease bur­den, among young adult women.When as­sess­ing pa­tients with mi­graine, it is im­por­tant for physi­cians to ask ques­tions about their qual­i­ty of life and men­tal health to ful­ly un­der­stand its im­pact.

Cur­rent Re­search to Ad­dress Un­met Needs in Mi­graine

Cur­rent re­search on mi­graine bur­den and treat­ment in pa­tients with co­mor­bid de­pres­sion or anx­i­ety is un­der­way to bet­ter un­der­stand and ad­dress the needs of this pa­tient pop­u­la­tion, in­clud­ing per­son­al­ized treat­ment ap­proach­es that en­able pa­tients to re­ceive op­ti­mal care.

Mi­graine al­so dis­pro­por­tion­ate­ly af­fects peo­ple with low­er so­cioe­co­nom­ic sta­tus and is par­tic­u­lar­ly bur­den­some in women in child­bear­ing years.7,8 In ad­di­tion, un­der­diag­no­sis is com­mon, pre­vent­ing peo­ple from seek­ing care and re­ceiv­ing treat­ment.9 Ad­dress­ing bar­ri­ers to care can lessen the im­pact of mi­graine and con­tribute to im­proved out­comes for pa­tients, in­clud­ing re­duc­ing the phys­i­cal and men­tal health bur­den on peo­ple’s lives.

Te­va is work­ing with the neu­rol­o­gy com­mu­ni­ty to sup­port im­prove­ments in mi­graine holis­ti­cal­ly that ad­vance not on­ly ef­fec­tive ther­a­pies, but bet­ter di­ag­no­sis, in­for­ma­tion and con­di­tions for those who live with this de­bil­i­tat­ing dis­ease. Our ex­ten­sive re­search pro­gram helps en­sure that pa­tients have ac­cess to ther­a­peu­tic in­ter­ven­tions that are right for them. We be­lieve that ad­dress­ing dis­par­i­ties in headache med­i­cine and ac­cess to dis­ease man­age­ment across di­verse pop­u­la­tions is a core val­ue of our work. Every pa­tient should have an op­por­tu­ni­ty to ex­pe­ri­ence few­er days with mi­graine and re­al­ize their full po­ten­tial.

This in­for­ma­tion is for ed­u­ca­tion­al pur­pos­es on­ly. For more in­for­ma­tion on how to man­age mi­graine, reach out to your health­care team.


1Amiri P, Kazem­i­nasab S, Ne­jadghaderi SA, et al. Mi­graine: A re­view on its his­to­ry, glob­al epi­demi­ol­o­gy, risk fac­tors, and co­mor­bidi­ties. Front Neu­rol. 2022;12:800605. Pub­lished 2022 Feb 23.
2Na­tion­al In­sti­tute of Neu­ro­log­i­cal Dis­or­ders and Stroke. Mi­graine. Avail­able at:­for­ma­tion/dis­or­ders/mi­graine. Ac­cessed on No­vem­ber 30, 2022.
3Smither­man TA, Ti­et­jen GE, Schuh K, Skl­jarevs­ki V, et al. Ef­fi­ca­cy of gal­canezum­ab for mi­graine pre­ven­tion in pa­tients with a med­ical his­to­ry of anx­i­ety and/or de­pres­sion: A post hoc analy­sis of the phase 3, ran­dom­ized, dou­ble-blind, place­bo-con­trolled RE­GAIN, and pooled EVOLVE-1 and EVOLVE-2 Stud­ies. Headache. 2020 Nov;60(10):2202-2219.
4Mi­nen MT, Be­gasse De Dhaem O, Kroon Van Di­est A, et al. Mi­graine and its psy­chi­atric co­mor­bidi­ties. J Neu­rol Neu­ro­surg Psy­chi­a­try. 2016 Jul;87(7):741-9.
5Buse DC, Fan­ning KM, Reed ML, et al. Life with mi­graine: Ef­fects on re­la­tion­ships, ca­reer, and fi­nances from the chron­ic mi­graine epi­demi­ol­o­gy and out­comes (CaMEO) study. Headache. 2019 Sep;59(8):1286-1299.
6Martel­let­ti P., Schwedt TJ, Lanteri-Minet M, et al. My mi­graine voice sur­vey: a glob­al study of dis­ease bur­den among in­di­vid­u­als with mi­graine for whom pre­ven­tive treat­ments have failed. J Headache Pain 19:115 (2018).
7Stein­er T, Stovn­er LJ, Jensen R, et al. Mi­graine re­mains sec­ond among the world’s caus­es of dis­abil­i­ty, and first among young women: find­ings from GBD2019. J Headache Pain (2020) 21:137.
8Burch R, Riz­zoli P, Loder E. The preva­lence and im­pact of mi­graine and se­vere headache in the Unit­ed States: Up­dat­ed age, sex, and so­cioe­co­nom­ic-spe­cif­ic es­ti­mates from gov­ern­ment health sur­veys. Headache. 2021 Jan;61(1):60-68.
9World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion. Fact Sheets, Headache Dis­or­ders. Avail­able at:­tail/headache-dis­or­ders. Ac­cessed on No­vem­ber 30, 2022.

De­cem­ber 2022


Andrew Ahn

MD PhD, Vice President, Innovative Medicines R&D, Teva Pharmaceuticals