Diagnosis and treatment

Despite the prevalence of migraine, diagnosis and treatment is poor with only 50% of sufferers receiving a diagnosis

The Issue

Throughout the country there are some good examples of patients accessing information, support and treatment to manage their condition. However there is a significant rate of misdiagnosis and subsequent mismanagement of migraine and other headache disorders in the UK.  Migraine remains undiagnosed and undertreated in at least 50% of patients (Pavone, Banfi, Vaiani & Panconesi, Cephalalgia, September 2007).  This can have a huge impact on people with migraine, causing avoidable pain and suffering, effecting their ability to work, take part in social and family life. It also places an avoidable pressure on NHS services, including A&E, as people continue their search for help.

What needs to happen?

  • People with migraine should be able to get the right diagnosis, treatment and information to self-manage their condition no matter where they live.
  • Migraine must be treated as a serious neurological health condition, with local and national services commissioned accordingly
  • Health professionals, particularly those working in primary care, should be trained and supported to improve earlier identification, diagnosis and treatment of migraine
  • People with migraine should have access to the best available treatment to manage their condition as recommended by their health professional.

Our work

We campaign and contribute to policy development regarding the NHS, access to treatments, neurology, and improving migraine and headache services. We lead on policy and public affairs work on behalf of migraine sufferers and work collaboratively with colleagues from across the sector.
We are members of a number of policy and campaign groups, including The Neurological Alliance, Patients Involved in NICE (PIN), Headache UK, AMRC, National Voices, The Prescription Charges Coalition.

Access to treatment

Read our full position statement here: