Migraine main cause of disability, earning losses to workforce: Dr Fowzia

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Karachi: Migraine is the number one cause of disability affecting
people under the age of fifty years, the group with the highest contribution to
workforce worldwide, making one of the highest negative economic impacts
globally, said noted neurophysician of Pakistan Prof Dr Fowzia Siddiqui,
speaking while presiding over a seminar on World Brain Day here Monday.

The seminar was arranged by the Department of Psychiatry &
Behavioral Sciences and Tele -Global Public Health on the theme of “Migraine:
The Painful Truth” at Ward 20, Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Center, JPMC
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

Dr Fowzia Siddiqui, who is a Diplomat American Board of
Psychiatry, Neurology and Epilepsy, said that according to the latest analysis
from the GBD study, almost 3 billion people had a headache disorder in
2016. 1.89 billion people had a diagnosis of tension-type headache, and
1.04 billion had a diagnosis of migraine.

She said migraine was responsible for 45.12 million years of life
lived with disability (YLD), with a peak in prevalence in women between 15 and
49 years. One in seven people suffer from this disabling, least respected, worst
managed, least recognized complex brain
disorder worldwide.

She said the symptoms of migraine include pounding unilateral
headache, preceded by visual or other aura; nausea, vomiting and light and
sound sensitivity. She said that however every headache is not migraine. She
said people cannot see what the sufferers feel.

She said in Pakistan very little data is available on epidemiology
of migraine, adding a study done on medical students showed 34-40% of students
suffered migraines. She said diagnosis depends on patient’s history, as there
are no specific tests or clinical markers.

She said treatment methods include abortive and prophylactic. She
said we must listen to patients, as migraine is mixed up with a lot of things.
She said emotional factors of this disease are unstable relations with people,
general dissatisfaction with life, sleep disturbances, and hormonal changes.
She said if the doctors do not address these matters they will not be treating
their patients. She asked the doctors no to just throw drugs at their patients
but also be attentive and empathetic.