The word migraine comes from the Greek “hemicrania” and means “half-headed”, because of the stabbing or pulsating pain that is frequently experienced on one side of the head. Migraines date as far back as 4,000 years ago and are even referred to in biblical texts.

Migraine is the most common neurological condition in the developed world: it is more prevalent than asthma, epilepsy and diabetes combined.

The World Health Organization lists migraines 19th among the world’s most debilitating and disabling diseases.

Severe migraine attacks are classified by the World Health Organization as among the most disabling illnesses, comparable to dementia, quadriplegia and active psychosis (Shapiro & Goadsby, Cephalalgia, September 2007)
An estimated 25 million days are lost from work or school every year because of migraine (Steiner et al, Cephalalgia, 2003)

Over half (54%) of migraineurs experience one or more attacks per month, and 13% claim one or more attacks per week (Steiner et al, Cephalalgia, 2003)

Women are more likely to have migraine attacks than men – 18% of women and 8% of men (Steiner et al, Cephalalgia, 2003)

Children can get migraine attacks too. Attacks can start at any age, but they usually start in children who are in their early to mid teens (Goadsby et al, New England Journal of Medicine, 2002)

A survey of neurologists found that up to one-third of all patients consulted because of headache – more than for any other complaint (WHO, Factsheet 277, March 2004)

Depression is three times more common in people with migraine or severe headaches than in A migraine headache can last up to 72 hours if not treated.

An estimated 70% of those with migraines have not been diagnosed and do not seek treatment.

Those who suffer migraines report an average of 35 migraines a year.

According to the American Medical Association, 18 % of the women in the US experience migraine headaches.

Migraine headaches cost $13 billion annually in lost productivity and absenteeism.

Only 6% of the American male population experience migraine headaches.

Migraine headaches afflict 5 % of the children and the adolescents in the United States under the age of 15.healthy individuals (WHO, Factsheet 277, March 2004)

* courtesy – The Migraine Trust