There’s more than one charity out there with migraine in it’s title. Even more that say they help to tackle or to research migraines, but that may not immediately appear to do so if judged only on their names. Having said that, even for those more obvious ones like the Migraine Research Foundation, it’s not always clear exactly what it is they do.
The European Headache Federation was established in 1992 as a nonprofit organisation that sought to improve life for those affected by headache in Europe. They do this through raising awareness of headache disorders and their impact across government, health care providers and the general public throughout Europe. The Migraine Trust was set up even earlier back in 1965 and since that time has invested over £3 million in 130 research projects. Together these two organisations work together to host a biennial congress. 2016 will be the fifth of these congresses, the first one having been held in London back in 2008.
Each year the congress is hosted in a different European city and neurologists, physicians, scientists, researchers, and healthcare professionals with an interest in migraine and headache disorders flock to attend. The congress consists of a four-day programme of events which covers the latest available research and therapies, developments from internationally recognised leaders in the field, and is an invaluable opportunity for networking and collaboration on emerging ideas. The aim of the event is to improve diagnosis and treatment for migraine patients.
There will be poster presentations, new scientist lectures, and care-based interactive sessions. One big new innovation this year will be teaching courses that will help to update primary care practitioners on the latest updates in migraine care.
In the past congresses have sprouted development in topics such as imaging methods used to study patients and managing chronic migraine in clinical settings. And while the whole congress is not open to the public, the event finishes with a public session for patients with migraine and headache disorders that will provide an overview of the congress presentations. Previous congresses public programmes have covered subjects such as medication overuse, and when a migraine becomes chronic, as well as including a large time allocation for question and discussion.
Each one is different depending on the speakers involved and the topics covered. But no matter what the programme highlights may be, it remains the case that each international congress is a keystone in raising migraine awareness and creating invaluable connections between migraine practitioners.
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