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.7 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: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/health-information/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: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/headache-disorders. Accessed on November 30, 2022.