2021 was a monumental time for the migraine community and the American Migraine Foundation. This year, we doubled down on our commitment to support the migraine community through education, advocacy, research and support. From hosting the first Migraine State of the Union to continuing conversations about migraine on social media, here are our proudest achievements from the last 12 months:
What We Achieved Together
Important Research Contributions
For AMF, 2021 proved how vital research is in improving our understanding of migraine and how we treat it. Data from a social media survey taken by members of our Move Against Migraine Facebook group was used in a study that was published in Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain. The study found that many patients with migraine received headache care via telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the quality of care they received was satisfactory. Nearly 90% of survey respondents expressed that they would continue to use telemedicine. This remote approach to medicine provides more accessible care options for people living with migraine.
Another study that used exclusive AMF-collected data from the American Registry for Migraine Research found that the current definition of chronic migraine does not reflect substantial differences in disability faced by migraine patients. The results of this study can be used to change the way people with migraine are classified. It can also help them receive access to more appropriate, personalized care. We were honored when this paper received the Harold G. Wolff Lecture Award from the American Headache Society for the best paper on headache, head or face pain.
Raising Awareness for Migraine and Other Headache Disorders
Migraine and Headache Awareness Month (MHAM) is a time to educate the world on the impact of headache disorders. It is also a time to advocate for better care. This year, MHAM had many events that brought the migraine community together and connected them to headache specialists. This included a Reddit Ask Me Anything and Twitter Chat.
Our first Migraine State of the Union brought together leadership from the American Headache Society and American Migraine foundation to share valuable insights on advancements in migraine research, treatment and education. We were inspired by the message of hope our guest speakers gave to the hundreds of participants who tuned in live, and we are happy that their insights can be relayed to future listeners with our event recap.
Throughout June, we also kept in touch with the migraine community. We provided informative resources to help them spread awareness or get involved in advocacy efforts. Our Advocacy Alert emails shared opportunities to contact local representatives to acknowledge June as MHAM. It was also a opportunity to fight for expanded telehealth coverage for people living with migraine and other neurological conditions.
Virtual Migraine Education
2021 was a phenomenal year for migraine education, especially with our webinar series. We covered new and upcoming migraine therapies in our New Migraine Treatments webinar where Drs. Jessica Ailani and Stewart Tepper walked us through the science and side effects of the new treatments. In “Why Isn’t My Treatment Working?” experts discussed potential reasons why someone with migraine may not be seeing success with their treatment plan. They also explained how to work with your healthcare provider to find the most appropriate treatment.
Following these events, Dr. Lawrence Newman led a panel discussion to further explore topics covered in “Why Isn’t My Treatment Working?” and Dr. Hope O’Brien hosted our “Transitioning to Adult Migraine Care” webinar to help families prepare their teens to manage migraine in early adulthood.
Giving Tuesday 2021: Putting Migraine on the Map
This Giving Tuesday, we raised support for the migraine community from coast to coast by putting migraine on the map. With the help of over 200 community members who bravely shared their personal migraine stories, we created a tool to help the world grasp how far-reaching migraine is. We are so proud and touched by the way our community came together to rally support for one another. We look forward to seeing the impact our efforts will have in the near future.
If you missed our Giving Tuesday campaign, there’s still time to show your support. Donate today to make a difference in the lives of those living with migraine.
Connecting the Community on Social Media
Every year, we love engaging with the migraine community on social media. In 2021 there were many opportunities for us to hear your thoughts on dozens of migraine-related topics. From Instagram to Twitter, we provided bite-sized pieces of doctor-verified information to people all over the world. Here are some of our most memorable social media posts from this year:
Our post called “Timeline of a Migraine Attack” provided an easy way to visualize and understand symptoms that can present as a migraine attack progresses. We focused on providing the migraine community with more tools for their migraine toolbox with posts like “7 Things to Say When You Need to Cancel Plans,” and we loved hearing about your go-to migraine tools in “Migraine Essentials Tote Bag.”
Special Thanks To…
The achievements we’re celebrating from 2021 would not have been possible without the support and collaboration of a few special groups. Experts from the American Headache Society and the AMF Board of Directors participated in the Migraine State of the Union webinar, for example. With this panel, they delivered helpful, relevant and timely information for our audience. We are grateful to share in their insights and expertise.
AMF Editorial Board
The number of educational resources we provided this year would not have been possible without the help of the American Migraine Foundation’s editorial board. Month after month, these doctors generously donated their time to verify information in our materials and participate in community events.
Our partnership with IHS-GPAC gave us opportunities to help move advocacy efforts forward for employees with migraine. We’re grateful for all they’re doing to educate employers on how to reduce migraine triggers and stigma in the workplace. So we look forward to what our partnership will bring in 2022.
The Migraine Community
And as always, we couldn’t have done it without the migraine community. From opening up about your migraine journeys to mentioning what you’d like to learn more about, our community members continuously teach us how to improve our resources. The migraine community is the backbone of our foundation and the reason for everything we do.
From all of us at the American Migraine Foundation, thank you all so much for your continued support in 2021! It’s been a year full of learning, growth and connection. We can’t wait to see what potential 2022 holds for our community.
The American Migraine Foundation is committed to improving the lives of those living with this debilitating disease. For more of the latest news and information on migraine, visit the AMF Resource Library. For help finding a healthcare provider, check out our Find a Doctor tool. Together, we are as relentless as migraine.
Reviewed for accuracy by the American Migraine Foundation’s subject matter experts, headache specialists and medical advisers with deep knowledge and training in headache medicine. Click here to read about our editorial board members.