Dr Faraidoon Haghdoost Discusses Next Steps for COVID-19, Migraine Research

December 9, 2020

The pandemic's effects on migraine need to be evaluated for the whole of 2020 and data from one specific time are not enough, said Faraidoon Haghdoost, MD, a general practitioner and PhD student at The George Institute for Global Health in Sydney, Australia.

The pandemic's effects on migraine need to be evaluated for the whole of 2020 and data from one specific time are not enough, said Faraidoon Haghdoost, MD, a general practitioner and PhD student at The George Institute for Global Health in Sydney, Australia.

Transcript:

The American Journal of Managed Care® (AJMC®): To your knowledge, was this the first study investigating the effects of a pandemic on migraine triggers and frequency?

Dr. Haghdoost: I did a literature review and there is a study on frequency of headache. And it was done by Delussi and a group in Italy. The study was done on March 27, to April 18. They showed that there was a decrease in headache frequency compared to before the pandemic. But I checked another study on stress, but it was not done on migraine patients. It was on a general population. It was in Switzerland on 10,000 people. They found that in about 25% of the individuals, stress decreased during the pandemic. I had a talk with some of the colleagues there, I just know them. I asked them some questions and they said we were interested in this finding, 25% had less stress compared to before, but about 50% had more stress in Switzerland, in the 10,000 participants. They found some reasons like change at work, problems with childcare, and not being able to spend more time [with others] as the reason for increasing their stress. So maybe you will have to check these factors in our patients, in Migraine Buddy users. If we are gonna have a sample, for example, and send them questionnaires; ask these questions and check if there is any reason for decreasing or increasing their stress as a trigger.

AJMC®: How do you think research into this subject will evolve as the pandemic continues in the months or years ahead?

Dr. Haghdoost: I think maybe we have lots of research at the moment, so we have to wait for the results. But the real effects of the pandemic, I think, and the disease should be checked for the whole of 2020. I don't know if we are going to have any vaccine or any ending for this pandemic. But just one specific time is not enough. We need a pattern for the whole year, especially for 2020, for most of the countries that were influenced. In some countries, they had lots of peaks. I know in Iran they experienced 2 or maybe 3 peaks. We need to check it but what I'm thinking that must be done and people who are diagnosed by neurologists as a migraine patient, have to have proper results and checks, be able to check the results and say, okay, this is something among migraine patients.