Claire Sandoe, MD, MSc, has been part of the American Migraine Foundation Editorial Board for the past four years, and recently stepped into the Co-Chair role. In this role, she is committed to elevating diverse migraine community voices, experiences, and ideas.

“Being involved in the American Migraine Foundation is a really amazing forum for me to be able to connect with a broader range of people,” she said.

In her professional role, as an assistant professor at the University of Toronto, Dr. Sandoe is committed to educating current and future healthcare professionals about migraine and other headache disorders, but also deeply values the opportunity to expand her reach to people living with migraine and those who care for them through the AMF.

“I find it really valuable to be able to connect with people about the impact of migraine as a brain disorder,” she said. “I think that historically the impact has been very under-recognized, and so trying to make it more visible and talked about is really important to me. I’ve always felt strongly that the language we use is really important to patients and to people who care for them.”

Dr. Sandoe says migraine has been stigmatized and has not received as much research attention as many other neurological conditions, likely in part because migraine affects more women than men. She also says that migraine has been misunderstood as a disease that is only about pain.

“It’s great to be able to help educate and connect with people about the fact that there’s so much more than pain happening in migraine,” she said. “We’re still just starting to scratch the surface of why a given person has migraine, and how to improve the lives of people who live with migraine.”

She hopes that the Editorial Board can make the disease more visible, to help people understand its impact. By creating public awareness and promoting advocacy, she hopes to help normalize and destigmatize migraine.

“It’s so important, and potentially therapeutic, to put a name to a condition that someone has, and help them understand what it is and why it’s happening to them as best we can,” she said.