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The pain and politics of migraine disease

Jaime Sanders has been coping with migraine pain for four decades. She founded the Disparities in Headache Advisory Council that works to identify and support solutions to racial health disparities in headache medicine. Photo Credit: Jaime Sanders

Nearly 40 million Americans suffer from migraine attacks. They’ve been viewed as a ‘middle-aged white woman’s malady,’ but research shows otherwise.

Dr. Courtney White talks about racial disparities in treatment and why the syndrome is misunderstood:

“People think it’s just a bad headache and that you can tough through it -- take some over the counter medications. And this is not true, this is a neurological disease.”

Then Jaime Sanders, who has coped with daily migraine pain for forty years, tells why she pushes for better access to care, and talks about her advocacy goals:

“To make sure that everyone is seen and heard and validated and respected. I’ve gone through so much of my life being dismissed, and I know how that feels not being believed.”

Links: Coalition for Headache and Migraine Patients, the Disparities in Headache Advisory Council, The Migraine Diva blog.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Melissa Gerr is a producer for On the Record. She started in public media at Twin Cities Public Television in St. Paul, Minn., where she is from, and then worked as a field producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland. She made the jump to audio-lover in Baltimore as a digital media editor at Mid-Atlantic Media and Laureate Education, Inc. and as a field producer for "Out of the Blocks." Her beat is typically the off-beat with an emphasis on science, culture and things that make you say, 'Wait, what?'