Melinda Moyer in The New York Times:
If you don’t suffer from migraine headaches, you probably know at least one person who does. Nearly 40 million Americans get them — 28 million of them women and girls — making migraine the second most disabling condition in the world after low back pain. Several studies have found that migraine became more frequent during the pandemic, too. I get migraine headaches, but thankfully they’re more bizarre than excruciating. Every few weeks, ocular migraine clouds my vision with strange zig-zagging lights for a half-hour; and once or twice a year I get attacks that cause temporary memory loss. (One came on while I was grocery shopping, and I couldn’t remember what month or year it was, what I was there to buy or how old my kids were.)
Despite its ubiquity, research on migraine has long been underfunded. The National Institutes of Health spent only $40 million on migraine research in 2021; by comparison, it spent $218 million researching epilepsy, which afflicts one-twelfth as many Americans. Why is this devastating condition so woefully understudied?