Saturday, January 19, 2008

Migraine Research Foundation's First Research Grant

I, thankfully, received the following in my email this morning and with great delight, I may add!



New York, NY – More than 30 million Americans suffer from migraine, yet research into the causes of migraine is both severely underfunded and neglected. Today, the Migraine Research Foundation officially launched its efforts to address the lack of research in this field by announcing the first annual research grants awarded by the Foundation. The Foundation is awarding nearly $200,000 in grants for 2007 and plans to more than double the grant amounts to at least $500,000 in 2008.

Founded by Stephen Semlitz and Cathy Glaser, whose family has struggled with the devastating effects of migraine for many years, the Migraine Research Foundation is dedicated to funding research that will end the debilitating pain of migraine that afflicts millions of men, women and children.

“Our family was surprised to find out that research efforts into migraine were enormously lacking,” said Ms. Glaser. “After talking with many doctors and migraine sufferers, it became clear that my husband and I could make a real difference in the lives of millions of people by supporting scientific research into the causes of migraine. That is why we founded the Migraine Research Foundation, which we foresee growing into the largest private funder of migraine research in the United States.”

Every 10 seconds, someone in the United States goes to the emergency room with a headache or migraine. American employers lose more than $13 billion each year as a result of 113 million lost work days due to headache or migraine. The lack of research into migraine is astonishing considering the widespread impact and consequences that this devastating condition has on American families and businesses. Over 10% of all Americans, including children, suffer from migraine, and nearly one in four households includes someone with migraine.

This paragraph here just blew me away: every. 10. seconds! Think about that for just 10 seconds and count that down would you. Every 10 seconds, someone in the US goes to the ER with a headache or migraine. Been there, done that. Thankfully, I have never been treated as a drug-seeker, like I've read about. But every 10 seconds is astonishing.

Guiding the efforts of the Migraine Research Foundation is a medical advisory board that includes leading neurologists and scientists from across the country and is chaired by Dr. Joel Saper of the Michigan Headache & Neurological Institute in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

“Migraine is underresearched by the scientific community, undertreated by physicians, and underappreciated by society,” said Dr. Saper. “There is no condition of such magnitude - yet so shrouded in myth, misinformation, and mistreatment - as migraine. The Migraine Research Foundation is about more than just the research that it will fund directly – it is about stimulating others to join us in addressing a critical gap in medical research.”

In addition to Dr. Saper, the medical advisory board of the Migraine Research Foundation includes Dr. Rami Burstein (Harvard University), Dr. F. Michael Cutrer (Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN), Dr. David W. Dodick (Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ), Dr. Peter J. Goadsby (University of California – San Francisco), Dr. Richard Lipton (Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY), and Dr. Stephen D. Silberstein (Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA).

The Foundation’s first round of annual research grants, totaling nearly $200,000, has been awarded to four researchers whose work holds the promise of groundbreaking advances in the search for the causes of migraine. The recipients and the research they will be pursuing include:

· Richard Lipton, MD Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY
Towards a Migraine Genetics Population Laboratory: Building on the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention Study

· Michael Oshinsky, Ph.D., Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
Glial Activation and the Chronification of Headache

· Frank Porreca, Ph.D., University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Behavioral Model of Medication Overuse Headache

· Ann Scher, Ph.D., Uniformed Services University, Bethesda, MD
Migraine in Middle Age and Late Life: A Longitudinal Analysis of Factors Related to Migraine Prognosis in a Large Population-Based Cohort

The Migraine Research Foundation has already committed to more than doubling the funds available for research grants in 2008 to at least $500,000, with funding coming from the support of an expanding network of individual donors, foundations and corporations. The Foundation also plans annual increases to the total amount of grant awards in subsequent years. Information on applying for 2008 grants will be made available in February 2008.

The Migraine Research Foundation (formerly The Migraine and Pain Fund) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to ending debilitating pain through funding scientific research into the causes and better treatment of migraine. More information about the Foundation and how to contribute to its efforts can be found at

This site is, as I found, quite interesting; with vivid pictures of migraines and stories that you can read, and add. Please add your name to the mailing list for further information to more research on migraine disease.

Truly hoping YOU are pain-free today.



Lisa Milton said...

Thanks for the information. It's heart breaking to imagine that many people suffering from headaches. And let's face it: the ER sucks. I'd almost rather suffer on my couch than sit in a brightly lit place, waiting waiting waiting.

I hope you are well and pain-free; that your weekend is light.

Emily said...

hallelujah! that is great news. i must say i'm surprised someone w/migraines has any money left to donate ;) after paying into the coffers of the triptan manufacturers.

let's keep our fingers crossed for something that will help me and you, deb!

Jeff said...

Wow, hopefully this new grant will help speed up the long overdue cure. Keep the faith... I pray for you constantly.

deborah said...

Lisa - you're right about the couch; fortunately for me, anytime I've had to go the ER route, I've been lucky enough not to have to wait too long, and have the lights dimmed and door shut. I thank my good doc for that.

Em - too funny and too true.

Jeff - those prayers are a constant welcome, my friend.

Megan Oltman said...

Wow - thanx for sharing this Deb - let's here it for better treatment and understanding!

I was really struck by this statement: “Migraine is underresearched by the scientific community, undertreated by physicians, and underappreciated by society,” said Dr. Saper. “There is no condition of such magnitude - yet so shrouded in myth, misinformation, and mistreatment - as migraine."

come visit me on my blog too at

Angela Solomon: mom2girlsgirlsgirls: said...

Wonderful news! Hey--how are you feeling? Hopefully this research will ultimately benefit you.

Migraineur said...

This is great news. Like you, I was astonished by the 10 second statistic.

I am very glad they are looking into two areas near to my heart, er, head - medication overuse ("rebound") headache, and migraine in middle age. I am sure that my migraines got more frequent on Imitrex.

Dr.Carley Clan said...

That is so great. We need Saper and the other to have the resources to find the cure for this. It does not surprise me that some get treated like that. The only reason I am not is because of my husbands position as a doctor, but I have seen other doctors do that.

That is probably some of the best news I have heard in a long time.

By the way if any of you want to hear those men (doctors) speak. There is the National Headache Conference that happens 1 time every year in Arizona. Deb, that is the one where I have that book for you. But this year it is for it's 50th annual, so it will be held in boston. My husband and I have gone every year for the past 6 years. The speakers are always Joel Saper M.D., Rami Burnstein M.D.PH.D,David Dodick M.D, Richard Lipton M.D., Stephen Silberstein M.D, and many other. They speak on what has just come out for that years reasearch and Doctors (like my husband) get their credits for the year. (doctors have to have a certain amount of credits to maintain certification, for those that do not know). If you are in the medical profession it is a great thing to do. I love going.

Bobblehead said...

That is wonderful news. What amazes the Bobblehead is that I have been hassled both by established doctors and the ER with no clue as to chronic migraine suffering. Since I suffer from Basilar Migraines, my speech can slur almost to the point no one understands me and I have to fight that I am not suffering a stroke. Please let us know how it goes.

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