ID Migraine screener found to be highly reliable in detecting migraine in undiagnosed patients

NEW YORK, August 13, 2003 -- A simple three-question test, called ID Migraine, can identify patients with migraine with about the same accuracy as widely used screening tests for other illnesses. It was developed by a team of migraine researchers and validated in a national study. The results appear in the current issue of Neurology, the journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The authors report that answering "yes" to two out of three simple questions effectively identifies migraine sufferers. The questions were:

  • Has a headache limited your activities for a day or more in the last three months?
  • Are you nauseated or sick to your stomach when you have a headache?
  • Does light bother you when you have a headache?

According to the lead author, Richard B. Lipton, M.D. Professor and Vice Chair of Neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, ID Migraine should be used in a primary care setting, where many patients with migraine may go undiagnosed. About 28 million Americans are estimated to suffer from migraine, but less than half have ever been diagnosed by a doctor, and may be frustrated because they can't find effective treatment.

"Despite the high prevalence of migraine and its associated pain and disability, diagnostic rates for migraine remain low," Dr. Lipton said. "ID Migraine is very easy to use for both patients and doctors and we hope it will prompt patients to talk to their primary care doctor to get diagnosed and to receive treatments that will relieve their pain and improve their ability to function."

The authors tested the validity and reliability of ID Migraine at 27 primary care sites and 12 headache specialty practice sites in the U.S. A nine-question survey was completed by 443 patients making routine primary care physician visits for any reason. Patients in the study either had headaches that interfered with their ability to work, study, or their enjoyment of life; or said the

Contact: Karen Gardner
M Booth & Associates

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