Migraine Awareness Month: The Infancy of Headache Research

The Will Erwin Headache Research Foundation was founded with the mission to find a cure for debilitating headaches. We hope to achieve this mission through our continued research on headache disorders, their causes, and possible treatment options. Each year, June is recognized as National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, which shares a similar goal of spreading awareness about headache disorders and strengthening the community for sufferers. This year, The Foundation is seeking to increase awareness by sharing our resources and understanding thus far with the world. We hope that through our efforts we are able to inform those who are unaware and provide support and opportunities for improvement for sufferers.

A Brief Understanding of Headaches

Migraine is a highly common disorder, impacting over 10% of the world population. Yet, there remains no cure, and each year, more and more sufferers go undiagnosed. One of the most impactful challenges that the field is attempting to overcome is research. Or the lack thereof. Headache research, while dating back centuries, is still in the early stages of development and has a long way to go. This reality is holding back the industry and impacting doctors, patients, and researchers alike.

History of Headache Research

Headaches go as far back as man. However, until the 18th century, headaches were grouped together and studied as a whole, as opposed to being separated out by type. Once researchers began to differentiate the different types of headaches, opportunities for advancement increased tenfold. Though it was not until later, in the 20th century, that impactful discoveries were made related to the cause of headaches. Harold Wolffe is generally referred to as the father of modern headache research, thanks to his backing on the idea that headaches were the result of vascular dilation.

Headache Research in the Modern World

         Today, headache researchers leverage technological innovation to help in the discovery of causes and treatment of headaches. Much of the research focuses on factors that relate to headaches and genetic predispositions for headaches. Our knowledge of the different types of headaches has also increased over time, causing a slow in research progression overall.

While an extremely common illness (the third most common in the world), our understanding of headaches and their causes is still basic. In order to further headache research and make significant headway with regard to finding a cure, more funding is needed. Without sufficient funding, headache research cannot continue. The lack of funding now is likely a contributing cause to the infancy of the research and data.

Join us in our mission by supporting headache research and spreading awareness. Given how common migraines are, it is more likely than not that you know a headache hero, yourself. Furthering headache research will not only impact the next generation of sufferers, but those seeking relief today may also be in hope. Migraines, and other debilitating headache disorders, make regular day-to-day life extremely difficult for sufferers. This can make staying motivated and active a laborious task. We hope that through further discovery and research, we can relieve some of that burden. For more information on how you can help, please visit – https://cureheadaches.org/contribute/.