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Shapiro Discusses Stigma of Migraine at International Headache Congress in Boston

Brain scan

Which carries a worse stigma – the historically highly stigmatized epilepsy, panic attacks, asthma, or migraine? University of Vermont/Fletcher Allen neurologist Robert Shapiro, M.D., Ph.D., in collaboration with Peter Reiner, V.M.D., Ph.D., of the National Core for Neuroethics at the University of British Columbia, polled more than 700 individuals to determine the level of stigma associated with migraine sufferers. Their results showed that migraine was associated with the same level of stigma as epilepsy or panic attacks.

Shapiro presented the findings from the study, which was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, at the International Headache Congress held June 27 to 30, 2013 in Boston, Mass.

“We have found those perceptions are well-grounded, and that the stigma that people with migraine experience is of a similar magnitude to the stigma people with epilepsy and panic attack experience,” said Shapiro in a HealthDay News article.

The recipient of the American Headache Society’s 2012 Harold G. Wolff Lecture Award and the Headache Cooperative of New England’s 2013 Annual Lifetime Achievement Award, Shapiro specializes in caring for patients with headache and migraine, actively advocates to raise awareness and support for the condition, as well as researches the underlying causes of migraine and its impact on quality of life and health care costs.

Read the HealthDay News article in U.S. News & World Report and the MedPage Today article.