Advocating for migraine research funding that will directly affect us?

Ask the Clinician Health Pro
  • Full Question:

    I know that research on Migraine is seriously under funded. With many of us migraineurs struggling with just managing the pain and financial burden. Is there some way we can advocate for research funding that will directly affect us? Geneva.


    Full Answer:

    Dear Geneva;


    Absolutely, there are ways each and everyone with migraine can advocate for increased research funding and other vitally important issues. Here are some specifics:

    • Each year, the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy (AHDA) holds an event called "Headache on the Hill." Doctors, researchers, and patients meet in Washington, D.C., have an afternoon for advocacy training, and then go to Capitol Hill to meet with their Senators and members of the House. Specific "asks," issues to be discussed, are determined in advance of the event and explained during the training session. You can watch for information on this event on the AHDA web site.
    • The American Headache and Migraine Association (AHMA), a patient-focused, patient-driven nonprofit organization for migraine and headache patients was formed, in part, because the NIH pointed out a few years ago that there was no strong migraine and headache organization that was advocating and helping raise research funding. They asked, "If your patients don't care, why should we?" AHMA members are contacted when there are advocacy emails to be sent, petitions to be signed, etc. AHMA dues are just $15 per year, and there are other benefits to membership including an annual full-day conference for patients, family, and friends. You can find more information on the AHMA web site.
    • There's also a new web site for advocacy news and information that will soon have much more information on migraine advocacy. The site is
    • Educating people who don't understand migraine is also an excellent advocacy tool. When people understand migraine, they're far more likely to help advocate and to donate to migraine research funding campaigns. Sharing links to educational material on this site and other accurate sites is quite helpful.
    • The American Migraine Foundation (AMF) has established the 36 Million Migraine Campaign to raise research funding, stating: "You may be one of 36 million Americans with migraine. If all of us donated just one dollar - for ourselves or for someone we know or love who has migraine - we can raise $36 million. So little can and will do so much! That's more than twice as much as the federal government allocates for migraine research each year!" You can donate and share the campaign with others through this Crowdrise campaign page.
    • We have a Facebook group for the HealthCentral migraine site. You can also join us there to discuss other ideas and options.

    Thanks for the great question,
    David Watson, MD, and Teri Robert

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    About Ask the Clinician:

    Dr. David Watson is a UCNS certified migraine and headache specialists and director of the Headache Center at West Virginia University. He and Lead Health Guide Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Watson or more about Teri Robert.


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    Please note: We cannot diagnose, suggest specific treatment, or handle emergencies via the Internet. Please do not ask us to diagnose; see your physician for diagnosis. For an overview of how we can help and questions we can and can't answer, please see Seeking Migraine and Headache Diagnoses and Medical Advice.


    We hope you find this general medical and health information useful, but this Q & A is meant to support not replace the professional medical advice you receive from your doctor. For all personal medical and health matters, including decisions about diagnoses, medications and other treatment options, you should always consult your doctor. See full Disclaimer.


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    Last updated December 1, 2014.


Published On: December 09, 2014